MIFFLINBURG — Dani Reber lost her waitstaff job during the pandemic but she didn’t lose her drive.
“I just went full bore into artwork. If I couldn’t have my dream job or find my dream job, I decided to make my own dream job,” Reber said Friday.
Her goal of owning an art boutique has been realized. 45 West, branded as 45W, opens its doors to customers today. It’s located on the northeast corner of Chestnut and Fourth. An adjacent brunch cafe to be operated by Reber and her husband, Justin, is in the works.
Reber’s own watercolor art adorns the walls along with the oil and watercolor works of other Pennsylvania artists. Resting on tabletops and shelves and hung on racks inside the tastefully renovated storefront are handmade goods by other Keystone State artisans including clothing and accessories.
Goods like earrings by Becski. Greeting cards and stationery by Freebird Paperie. Houseplants from Shay’s Plant Shop. Salad dressings from Village Eatinghouse. Jellies by Tait Farm Foods. Fine furniture from John C. Sterling. All of these and more are made in-state.
“Everything here with few exceptions is made in Pennsylvania. Everything you buy here is directly supporting the person who made it,” Reber said.
Reber and her husband have two children. Both are homeschooled. Being on a busy corner is advantageous for Reber, but perhaps more so is being close to home.
45 West got its start at the Lewisburg Farmers Market. Reber shared a booth with her mother-in-law, Selina Heddings, who runs Buffalo Valley Trading Post and Boutique. Both ventures built a following and outgrew their shared space. Now, they share a street corner.
Catty-corner from 45 West is the new home of Buffalo Valley Trading Post and Boutique, which opened its own doors in June. Reber and Heddings each said they’ll work together to attract customers to each other’s stores.
“I want to see her succeed. I want to see this whole town succeed. We’ll do whatever it takes,” Heddings said.
Buffalo Valley Trading Post and Boutique features furniture, home decor, clothing and more. They, too, focus on Pennsylvania artists. Dantonio Designs hand-crafted jewelry, Wake & Wire coffee and Macrame by Lilly are some of the local artists whose goods are on sale.
Heddings herself is an artist. She repurposes used furniture and sells it at the shop. Her daughter, Miranda Dellinger, co-owns the Trading Post. Dellinger was making decorative signs by hand Friday as Heddings spoke of the relationship between her store and 45 West.
Mifflinburg is experiencing continued growth in its downtown as more and more small businesses open up shop. In fact, another business at Fourth and Market opens today: Tamara’s Hair Studio.
Mother and daughter each expressed a shared belief that the strength of support local and out-of-area customers showed small businesses during the pandemic partly inspired new merchants to take the risk of owning a unique boutique or other stores.
“Mifflinburg has so much potential,” Dellinger said.
45 West, 374 Chestnut St., is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Follow @45WMifflinburg on Facebook for updates including future information on the adjacent cafe.
Buffalo Valley Trading Post, 407 Chestnut St., has updated hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays to Fridays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Find it on Facebook: @BuffaloValleyTradingPostandBoutique.