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Janet Medure, owner of Main Street Bears in Navarre, doesn't operate your traditional novelty store or gift shop. Instead, Medure houses a very large collection of the area's most adorable, huggable and collectible teddy bears.
Medure opened the business 15 years ago with the help of her husband. As a couple who always wanted to own their own business, the opportunity just presented itself quite unexpectedly.
"Everything just fell into place," Medure said. "It was the right time for a lot of reasons and it's been very fun."
Although Medure admits that the collectible market isn't what it was 10 years ago, she recalls the fast-moving trend of the Beanie Babies brand, she's hopeful that it will build back up.
"My biggest success has been surviving 15 years," Medure said.
Even with a vast customer base, most of which are tourists passing through Amish country, Medure understands the reality that collectibles are not a top priority purchase for most people " especially in our economy.
"It's still a lot of fun," Medure said. "I have a lot of fun with the customers, seeing them walk through the shop; watching their faces light up. These bears have their own personalities and it's so enjoyable to watch the customers experience that."
Medure is currently gearing up for the holidays, beginning with her fall collection and making purchases for the Christmas and Easter seasons already.
"I love this store when it's decorated for Christmas," Medure said. "That's my favorite time."
Main Street Bears has an annual Open House for customers, tourists and local community members to come in and spend some time in the store. Cookies and punch will be provided as well as door prizes, specials and other fun things that Medure can come up with. The Open House is scheduled for Nov. 11-13.
She has received a lot of positive feedback from local businesses and members in the community.
"I think of our annual Open House as a community event," Medure said. "A lot of area businesses will be hosting an open house during that weekend as well."
Main Street Bears is located at 225 Main St. North in Navarre. Store hours are Wednesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information call (330) 879-9655.