Before she was even a teenager, Melisssa Ziogas dreamt of owning a store in downtown Medina.
“My mom and I would come to Medina to walk around the square and shop and just have a ladies day,” said Ziogas, who is a native of Wooster. “I was probably 10 or 11 and we continued to do it until she passed away.”
Three years ago that dream came true when Ziogas opened The Raspberry and The Rose in a tiny little storefront on West Washington Street.
“That was a very small space – about 400 square feet,” she said.
A year later, Ziogas moved to her current location at 241 S. Court St. and is now able to offer a much larger selection of merchandise in the women's boutique with incredible style, including jewelry, clothing, handbags, hats and a variety of gift items.
The Raspberry and The Rose has actually been around since 1999. Ziogas made jewelry and sold it as a mobile artisan at outdoor festivals and art shows.
“But my goal was always to have my own store,” she said. “There are about 180 different distributors that I work with now.”
Ziogas said she works to bring in a variety of merchandise that will appeal to many different people.
“I try to pull the latest trends and I try to have something for everybody, whether you are ultra-modern or very conservative, or you like something big and flashy,” she said. “I also try to pick clothing that is going to fit the vast majority of tastes. And when I have a choice, I will also favor items that are made in the USA.”
But for a customer looking for a piece that is more personal, Ziogas said she can help too.
“If there is something specific you want made, we can do that,” she said. “I have worked with bridal parties or people who want to create custom gifts. We can also do hand-stamped jewelry.”
Old fashioned service
As customers walk into the store, Ziogas greets a number of them by name and asks about their children or spouses.
“I love that about this community,” she said. “There are a lot of people who like to just get out of the house and walk in and socialize. I like being a part of that.”
Because many of the items in the store are purchased as gifts, The Raspberry and The Rose offers free gift wrapping.
“Remember the old May Company when you could walk in and buy something and they would gift wrap it for free?” she asked. “I want to offer that kind of personal service.”
Ziogas also said she will happily ship an item for a customer who can’t make it into the store.
“We are posting every day on our Facebook page showing new items that we are getting in or letting people know about events,” she said. “If you see an item that you love it is no problem to ship it.”
A part of the community
Ziogas wants The Raspberry and The Rose to be more than just a place to shop. At least once a month the store partners with the pottery studio All Fired Up, and offers fun craft evenings inside the store.
Ziogas clears out the center of the store and brings in long tables, provides refreshments and invites clients in to do fun projects. Just recently they offered a fun evening of painting wine glasses and everything in the store was 25 percent off that day.
The store also participates in a Shop and Share program with area nonprofits. The store works with a nonprofit to pick a date where 20 percent of sales benefits that specific nonprofit.
“We do this probably 20 or 30 times a year,” Ziogas said. “It is a great way to give back to the community.”
On April 15, the store will celebrate its third birthday with 30 percent off storewide, plus cake and treats for customers.
The Raspberry and The Rose is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday from Jan. 1 through May 1. After May 1, the store is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 330-952-1600 or log on to www.theraspberryandtherose.com.