If it’s here, it’s Purely MichiganPublished 9:00am Sunday, July 15, 2012
ST. JOSEPH — Lynne Christiano’s goal is to have everyone experience what Michigan has to offer.
It shouldn’t be difficult considering her downtown St. Joseph store, Purely Michigan, features items made in the state.
“We only sell products that were designed, created and manufactured in, or distributed by, companies in Michigan,” she said.
Purely Michigan opened in May at 406 State St., St. Joseph. It can be reached by phone at 269-983-3300 or on Facebook at facebook.com/purelymichigan.
It is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Christiano is originally from Dayton, Ohio, but moved to St. Joseph 26 years ago because of her husband’s job.
Christiano has worked in retail, but never owned a store until opening Purely Michigan.
The idea came while talking with friends about what is missing in downtown St. Joseph.
“I thought it would be great to own a store that sold nothing but Michigan products ,” she said. “There is no other store dedicated to Michigan products here that I know of, but there are similar stores all over Michigan.”
Purely Michigan carries a wide variety of Michigan-made products, including food, photography, art, jewelry, books, beach glass, clothing, kitchenware, lotion, soap, key rings and more.
“We touch on a little bit of everything, and if enough people ask for a product we don’t have, I’ll look for it and carry it in the store,” she said. “I try to find products that include both the upper and lower peninsula because sometimes the U.P. feels like it’s left out.”
Popular items include beach glass jewelry, tote bags made out of boat sails, hats and Lake is Good products.
Christiano said she carries work from several local artists, farmers and crafters.
Christiano hopes Purely Michigan will encourage people to shop locally.
“It’s helping out the cottage industry and small businesses throughout the state of Michigan,” she said. “It’s funny seeing the people who come in and say they know the guy who makes this or the girl who designs that. It’s fun for them to come in and discover.”
Tags: st. joseph