The Local Beat

by Sarah Anderson

Dime and Regal

Step into this minimalistic oasis on 656 Wealthy St SE and feast your eyes on the curated handcrafted goods of 23 Michigan artists. Try on tiny statement jewelry, find the piece that was missing from your kitchen or home, browse skincare for women and men, or sniff the scents of local handmade candles. Indulge in one of the 17 variations of natural bar soap by Wicked Soaps, a line Courtney Jones, co-owner of Dime and Regal, notes is their top seller. “My personal favorite and most popular is the Lumbersexual,” Jones divulged. The most underestimated item in her shop? Macramé wall hangings by Amber Schaible. “These beautiful accents and centerpieces are painstakingly knotted by hand,” Jones explained. “Each one is unique and some feature Lake Michigan driftwood recovered by the artist herself.”

Bella Furs

There’s nothing like packing away your bulky winter wear and bidding it farewell as you welcome the sun on your skin. Bury your boots in the basement, hide your hats and gloves in a dresser and keep your coats in the closet — except, that is, for your fur. Each year, Bella Furs (660 Croswell Ave SE) opens their doors to approximately 5,000 fur coats to provide them with the ideal hibernation haven in their temperature and humidity-controlled vault. An extension of the oldest furrier in Grand Rapids, Bella Furs has been caring for fur since 1903 and has the process down to a science. Keeping their vault at 40 degrees and 45 percent humidity circulating at all times, fur gets the best hideout during the warm months. Bella Furs employs two master furriers who clean, glaze, and condition the storage coats with chinawood before placing them in vault, halting the aging of the coats for months at a time. “Most furs last for 40 years,”Sharon Jensen, owner of Bella Furs, explained. “If you store it for 20 years (half the time), then you add that time to your fur and it lasts much longer.”

Nature’s Nest

There is no shortage of passion exuding from the staff at the wild bird feeding and nature specialist retailer Nature Nest. Full of bird baths, fountains, feeders, and gifts, this local business on 5426 Northland Dr NE is committed to helping you create the best possible home for the wild birds in your area. Their products help you provide wildlife with nutrients, baths and a place to hang while you can enjoy endless hours of bird watching entertainment. Many people stop in for the Purple Martin birdhouses and anything that entices blue birds to stop by. Others come for the intricate variations on the pole systems for bird feeders, while some stop in for the perfect bird-themed gift to warm the hearts of your their loved ones all year round.


Sarah shuffles between editorial support, content production and advertising at WLM. She loves her job so much, and isn’t just saying that to impress her boss.


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