Businesswomen behind Iredale Cosmetics, Louisa Ellis plan collaborative shop on Railroad Street

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GREAT BARRINGTON — Two local businesswomen are working together to open a new store in downtown Great Barrington, the latest of a number of shakeups in the vibrant business district of this thriving town.

"With all the new developments in town, we feel this is the right time," said Jane Iredale, the owner and CEO of Jane Iredale Cosmetics.

Iredale is opening an expanded shop in the old Tune Street Storefront on the corner of Railroad and Main streets with Melissa Bigarel, owner/operator of the upscale women's shop Louisa Ellis. The storefront will host the two businesses in concert with one another — Bigarel told The Eagle that the structure will be a Louisa Ellis store with a Jane Iredale makeup retail shop nested inside.

"Think of Mazzeo's inside of Guido's Marketplace," Bigarel said. "Independent and complimentary."

There will be one centralized checkout, she said.

All of Iredale's products will be available in the retail space, Bigarel said.

Bigarel said the store will offer experiential shopping for customers. Iredale Cosmetics will provide a makeup studio with an in-house makeup artist, while Louisa Ellis will have a personal stylist on hand. Both services will be available every day, Bigarel said.

"People who just want to shop will go online," said Iredale. "We want to offer a fun experience in a retail store; we want people to enjoy the time they're there."

It's a natural progression for the two businesses.

"Melissa has been very successful where she is and has incorporated our product in her shop," said Iredale.

But the full product line couldn't fit in the current location, so when Tune Street left the storefront on the corner of Railroad and Main Streets the two women jumped at the opportunity to combine their products in one retail space.

Bigarel plans to keep her storefront on the other side of Main Street, she said, and turn it into an upscale men's clothing shop. The working name for the store is "Joe Dagget," a wink to the short story "A New England Nun" in which Louisa Ellis and Joe Dagget are the main characters.

"People have been asking me for a men's store since we opened," Bigarel said.

Iredale said the moment for expanding the retail side of her operation in Great Barrington in concert with Bigarel is right. She pointed to the development projects planned for St. James Place, Bridge Street and Railroad Street as evidence that Great Barrington is undergoing a transition and expansion. The two businesswomen want their shop to act as a landmark for the expansion.

"We want our store to be the gateway to the Great Barrington business district," Iredale said. "A cosmetic development for the downtown."


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