Buy Local profile: Karyn McCombe

Owner, Bellissimo, 2743 Agricola Street, 423-6014

Open for six years, the Euro-styled decor and accessories store Bellissimo has gone through many changes---moving up to the north end from its original location on Market Street, absorbing Abby’s Fabrics and last summer’s expansion.

Owner Karyn McCombe says the changes and influx of new products makes it difficult to describe exactly what they do. “There’s a focus on fabric design” she says. “People come in to buy a sofa and we wind up making their drapes in the same material. We’re a full-service decorating storefront. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes that nobody sees.”

The store has plenty of home accessories, furniture, gifts and bedding, all with a very European look “that goes with the name,” says McCombe. The move to the north end has turned out very well for the business, contrary to what one might think about foot traffic in the downtown area being more attractive than the upper reaches of Agricola. “It’s becoming a recognized area for boutique shopping,” she says. “There are a lot of specialty stores.”

McCombe hopes to see coffee shops and other retail appear on the street, as well as the erasure of the notion that the north end is a rough hood. “It still has a shady reputation, but it’s definitely not what people think.”

For the holidays, consumers will find the signature upside-down tree along with plenty of Christmas decor, a collection of gorgeous bathroom items in the apothecary corner, plus artwork, framed vintage work and buttons. “They’re unique products,” says McCombe. “You have to come here to see it.”

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