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Downtown Bennington gets its only retailer and business is 'absolutely bananas'

Downtown Bennington gets its only retailer and business is 'absolutely bananas'

The Benson area's Found Vintage Market now has a sister boutique in Bennington — it's called Earl and Gray.

Earl is a nod to the bulldog that goes to work every day with co-founder Laci Mulick. The Gray? "It's just a cute and trendy color," she says.

Mulick opened the 3,000-square-foot store this month with co-owner Abbie Niles, a Bennington resident who also is a sign-maker at Mulick's Benson shop.

Mulick said she'd been hunting for an area with a small-town, up-and-coming feel to open the sister location. After visiting several cities, she and Niles settled on the old Mangold's store site built in Bennington in 1911.

Niles and Mulick painted a mural on the wall of their space at 15416 S. 2nd St. to pay homage to the history.

Billed as a modern boutique with vintage charm, their Bennington store that opened Sept. 1 sells new, nostalgic and handmade goods and clothing. It features merchandise created by local makers of signs, candles, refinished furniture, knitted and macrame items, and more. 

A goal is to provide women opportunities and perhaps even allow them to make a full-time career out of creating their own goods, said Mulick, who paints and refinishes old furniture. So far business has been "absolutely bananas," she said.

Lindsey Adams is on the local Chamber of Commerce and works a few doors away at Adams Family Insurance. She said the community is thrilled to welcome its only retailer in downtown Bennington.

Speaking as a consumer, she said: "It's amazing to have the option to run down and get something for our house, the kids, any friend or family member needing a gift."

"As a chamber board member," she said, "it's exciting because they'll start drawing people to our downtown."

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