FARMINGTON – Trendy clothing, locally-made artisan ware, hand-blown glass pipes and tobacco are moving in to replace a secondhand clothing shop on Broadway.
Darcel Niles and Josh Levesque opened their shop Sensi Side Clothing & Smokeshop on the Wilton Road nine months ago, but business was slow.
“People didn’t stop on their way to Wal-Mart,” Niles said. “There was no traffic flow and with a name like Sensi Side, people thought we were a karate studio.”
The couple painted their new shop on Broadway walls an emperor red and pulled up the carpeting, well used from years as the Farmington Thrift Shop’s floor covering, to reveal beautiful wood flooring. The over-stuffed thrift shop has moved a block further east on Broadway to the larger digs where the Butterfly McQueens clothing store was located.
As Niles unpacked and assembled mannequins, Levesque was busy building display shelving. Already installed on one side of the shop are shelves of locally made incense, pottery, jewelry. Body jewelry and body piercings will be available, as will Niles’ art work, along with others who want to sell at the shop.
Levesque and four employees create the hand-blown, multi-colored glass pipes and hookahs that can be found in his shop and most of the smokeshops across Maine. In addition, Levesque owns a construction company that specializes in renovating older homes.
“I’ve been making the tobacco pipes for some time,” Levesque said. The shop will also sell tobacco products that include mixtures of fruit and molasses. The pipes and tobacco products are displayed in a display case at the back of the store. A low wall will separate the smoking products from the rest of the shop.
“We’re a family-oriented shop,” Niles said. “We want families coming in here.” The couple, who moved from Poland Spring, and their 3-year-old daughter, Sadie, will unofficially open the shop on Friday. More work to complete the store’s renovation and move should be completed for a 10 a.m. Saturday opening.