After sitting empty for nearly two years, the old Schweser’s Building will once again be a retail destination in historic downtown Fremont when it reopens later this month.
The building, which housed Schweser’s department store for over 70 years, will be the new home of Fia and Belle Homewares, which is currently located just down the street, at 88 W 6th Street.
Fia and Belle has been in business at their current location since 2014, and after taking a week to move inventory to their new location, will reopen in the Schweser’s Building on October 24th.
“We are going to be bigger and better,” Sandra Murray, owner of Fia and Belle, said. “We are going to close for one week, get all of our stuff down there, decorate it to look amazing and then reopen.”
Fia and Belle offers shoppers a variety of unique styles, vintage finds, reclaimed furniture, home accents and handmade jewelry unique to the area.
The store recently ventured into the retail clothing business, selling designer and boutique clothing that shoppers won’t see at area malls and clothing stores.
“We just started carrying clothes in July, and it has been a big boost to our business,” Murray said. “We are carrying KanCan Jeans and all of our other stuff is boutique lines, so stuff you can’t just go on the internet and buy. We are trying to be different from the stereotypical matt atmosphere, and offer unique items.”
Along with expanding their clothing offerings, the move to the bigger space will also allow Fia and Belle to offer more antiques and furniture.
We have three or four buildings of antiques that we are bringing in, so we will have a lot more furniture,” Murray said. “We also have some new lines of things, new artwork and candles.”
After purchasing the Schweser’s building last year, the owners of Fia and Belle have been making renovations to the building in preparation for the move.
We have taken four layers of floor off of the main floor down to the original wood flooring, and taken all of the drywall off down to the old brick. We took the drop ceiling out and did that up to the old original ceilings with the dentil molding and all that,” Murray said. “People are going to be pleasantly surprised, it’s very updated.”
According to Murray, the Schweser family allowed Fia and Belle to keep the Schweser name on the building, which will eventually be incorporated into their business.
The Schweser family has been very kind and great to work with, they let us keep the Schweser name,” she said. “So eventually it will be the Schweser Marketplace, the building will, when we get other things going in there.”
One of those businesses will be Hair by Brianna Kindler, which is also currently located in the back of Fia and Belle’s location at 88 W 6th Street. Kindler is Murray’s daughter.
“My daughter (Kindler) has her salon in the back and she will be over there (Schweser’s) eventually, we just have to get her area ready,” Murray said.
As a way to make the move a little lighter, Fia and Belle is currently holding a moving sale which will continue through their last day at their current location, on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We opened up our back room and our basement and we are inviting people to come in and make offers on stuff, so we don’t have to move everything,” Murray said. “We’ve had a great response, people like to scrounge through your stuff. It’s like a garage sale.”
Another thing that will make the move a little easier, is the fact the Schweser’s Building is only a half block away from their current storefront.
“Because it is just a half a block away we are not using trucks, so everybody downtown is going to see us going back and forth with all our furniture and other stuff throughout the week,” Murray said.