Bella Vita Salon and Fashion Finds on a Dime Join Growing List of Main Street Merchants
“I have always dreamed of opening my own salon,” stated Bella Vita owner, Matt Nadeau. “For several years I have built up a clientele while renting space in other salons, but always knew in my heart that I wanted the freedom to carve out my own space to showcase my unique style and skills. After looking around throughout the area, I found the right combination of visibility, affordability and space right here in Fort Fairfield where I live.”
Monica Sprague, owner of Fashion Finds on a Dime, had operated her clothing resale operation out of her home for many years – often helping families in need with clothes for free. She decided the time had come to take her passion for fashion, and people, and make a business out of it.
“I know this is what God wants from me, to help people with nice clothes at affordable prices,” said Sprague. “People can’t afford fifty dollar pairs of jeans and hundred dollar dresses! What I do is take clothes that have a life left in them and get them in the hands of people who need them.”
While the clothes that Sprague sells are second-hand, she does not accept donations. Her sources are secret, but she is happy to separate the good from the bad and recycle both.
“Everything I hang on the rack is clean. It is in good shape and it is ready for a new owner,” stated Sprague. “The other items I receive that are too worn to pass along don’t go into the landfill without getting a second using, instead I donate them to farmers to use as rags. My business truly is about taking care of the community, and making sure our friends and neighbors have nice clothes to wear to work and school.”
“It is great to see more occupied store fronts on Main Street!” exclaimed Tim Goff, Executive Director of the Fort Fairfield Chamber of Commerce. “Both of these businesses are good examples of entrepreneurs investing in our community. The old saying “a rising tide raises all boats” is certainly true when applied to economic activity in our downtown. We know people will visit one or both of these shops, and in the process visit other retail stores or stop and eat at a restaurant. That added economic activity only helps our community by keeping those dollars locally by supporting our businesses.”
These two new businesses join several new tenants in Fort Fairfield’s Village Square building. Owners Josh Cheney and Leigh Smith, who purchased the building in 2015, have worked tirelessly to reduce vacancy in the 20,000 square foot building while improving the local economy by supporting small businesses.
“We're thrilled to be able to be an integral part of downtown Fort Fairfield,” said Cheney. “One of the best parts about what we are doing right now is that we are not just helping to grow the local economy, but we are working to help people pursue their dreams and their passions. Owning a small business takes an enormous amount of drive and determination, and we're thrilled to be able to help people like Matt and Monica reach their goals. ”
Cheney and Smith hope to add even more to the local economy by providing support to other entrepreneurs.
“One of the ways that we helped both of these businesses get started is our new business incentive - for businesses that are new, or new to Fort Fairfield, we can provide a significant discount on their rent for the first part of their lease,” explained Cheney. “The first few months are a critical time for a new business, and we feel that by helping people get through those toughest times, they will be better positioned to succeed in the market long-term. We'd love to talk to anyone interested in starting or locating their business in Fort Fairfield.”
Bella Vita Hair Salon accepts walk-ins and also is happy to make appointments for men and women and children looking for a haircut and color and seeking a spark in their style. Bella Vita is open Tuesday through Friday 8am to 5pm and Saturday 8am to noon. Contact Matt for more information or to schedule an appointment at 316-9703.
Fashion Finds on a Dime, which is continually adding new merchandise, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Both businesses are located in the Village Square 232 Main Street in Fort Fairfield.