Something old, something new incorporated into Yarmouth business overhaul

Tina Comeau
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YARMOUTH – For decades items sat in the basement of the Hawthorn Street building. Collecting dust. Forgotten. Their time long passed.

But although no longer in plain sight, all they needed was a vision.

That vision was revealed to Yarmouth business owner Krista Smith last week, as she saw the second half of a major overhaul of her former Design Line business – now known as The Style Merchant – for the first time.

“It’s overwhelming,” Smith said. “I knew the technicalities of what I needed, but I didn’t know what the design was actually going to look like.”

The work was carried out by Freshco and RennDuPrat. Freshco’s owner is Yarmouth County native Mandy Rennehan, whose other Yarmouth projects include reinvigorating the old jail and some Yarmouth south properties. RennDuPrat, which has set up shop in those Yarmouth south Main Street properties, has been working on projects in collaboration with Freshco.

Interior designer Dustin DuPrat says the redevelopment project for The Style Merchant involved converting small unused office space into large retail space, allowing Smith to increase her retails offerings. It also involved a lot of repurposing of materials.

“I think in any of our spaces, whether its Freshco or RennDuPrat, we really pay homage to the heritage of the surrounding,” he says.

It’s not just about renovating a space. It’s also about creating one. (CLICK ON THE PHOTO GALLERY IN THIS POSTING TO SEE PICS OF SPACE)

“The light fixture over the front door, as well as one in the back, those are old pulleys from an old elevator system. We saw those kicking around in the basement,” DuPrat says.

“The door for the storage room, that’s an old freezer door. There were three of those freezer doors in the basement. It’s a little unwieldy to use day in and day out for customers, but for the purpose of a storage room it’s perfect.”

A door separating this new retail space from the salon and spa side of the business comes from one of the cells of the old Yarmouth jail.

The bricks on a wall of the business were repurposed from the west wall of one of the Yarmouth south properties.

Other light fixtures have a variety of old used shoes and boots hanging from them, making for interesting chandeliers.

“It all adds life to something that has already served its purpose functionally, and now it’s serving a new purpose aesthetically,” DuPrat says.

Mandy Rennehan hopes to see work like this catch on.

“The collaboration and ideology behind RennDuPrat and Freshco is to give Yarmouth back its distinctive personality, and more importantly its pride to be proud of how creative we can be on all fronts together,” she says, “and to keep creating things on business and residential levels that consumers and investors can’t resist.”

Smith, meanwhile, had relocated her Klic Fashions portion of the business to Main Street so that the renovation work could take place at her Hawthorn Street location. She intends to move her retail business back into the new space in mid-March.



• Old Yarmouth jail cell jail door going into shoe shop  from the brick "cave “  had a custom steel frame fabricated and was restored to its original form.

• All the feature wall brick was from a wall we needed to rebuild in the south and bricks were shaved and restored to look like they did in late 1800’s.

• Light feature over front door and chandelier back fitting room , were the old manual motor shafts for the building in the early 1900’s were found them buried in the basement. Business owner owned the building for 21 years didn’t even know they were there.

• The 1800’s women boot chandeliers were custom made by RennDuPrat with the help and partnership of Mike Ryan, all the shoe’s and boots were flown in from all around the world signifying the classic styles back then with each having there individual story.

• All the cabinets /mirrors  and doors were custom made at the RennDuPrat shop in the south as wells as the signature “style merchant Lady”  on back wall of cash wrap and emblem on stockroom door.

• Stockroom door (Freezer door) was also indigenous of the original design of the building and re-purposed again into the design.


Organizations: Freshco

Geographic location: Yarmouth County, Hawthorn Street

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Recent comments

  • Sue Hutchins
    March 07, 2016 - 11:54

    Congratulations to Krista for having the initiative to go ahead with this, and to Dustin for having the vision. So happy to have Dustin here in Yarmouth!

  • Chris Erry
    March 07, 2016 - 11:07

    Krista gave me a quick tour last week. The design work building and overall style are excellent. Congratulations to Krista for having faith in our community and to Freshco/RennDuPrst on a job well done. Two thumbs u!