There's a lot of art and signs on the walls of the Frog & Bee, and most of them speak of love.
"It's not the home I love, but the people inside," one says.
And a lot of people loved by co-owner Sherry Chantiles are represented inside the new shop at 49 N. Beaver St., which celebrated its ribbon cutting May 4.
The art created by her daughter and co-owner Hollie Chantiles-Shortino is among her favorite handcrafted merchandise in the retail boutique. "I've loved watching her grow as an artist. It's been fun to look at what she has done," Chantiles said.
Another of her favorites is an upcycled apron made by one of her best friends. Made from the fronts of men and women's dress shirts, the aprons come in different sizes and colors and include cloth flower brooches.
That all items in the store are made by hand locally - and the majority are made by family and friends - adds to the warmth of the business.
"It's great because we support each other," Chantiles said. "It's a real sense of family and community."
And Beaver Street only amplifies that, she said.
"I've always loved Beaver Street," she said. "It's near Central Market and other shops. There are some really sweet ladies (at nearby businesses) who make it a nice little community."
It's a growing community, too, according to local architect Frank Dittenhafer, who recently referred to the area as the city's "arts district."
The burgeoning district reminds Chantiles of "the old days," she said.
"People used to live above their shops. They made things and sold them to each other. People were known for their trades," she said.
Repeat customers know Chantiles for her best sellers - baby booties, felt brooches and unique pin cushions. Terrariums and items made from recycled metals are also popular. "One thing that makes us stand out is everything is homemade. You can't find our stuff in any mall or store," she said. That's why the store's tagline is "where nothing is ordinary," she said.
Chantiles said she has been making extraordinary things her entire life, but didn't dedicate herself to it full-time until she recently retired from Memorial Hospital, where she worked in the gift shop.
Her designs range from painted wood furniture to ornate pin cushions, and store prices vary from $1 recycled magnets to $300 paintings.
Some merchandise moves slowly, while she struggles to keep up with the demand for other items, she said.
But she looks around the small store and sees "so much room."
"We want to be really full and colorful," she said. "We have a little, tiny space, but we're going to fill it up quickly."
- Reach Candy Woodall at 505-5437 or email@example.com.