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Coastal Entrepreneur Owns Nine Shops

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Michiko Seto shows no sign of slowing down. The coastal entrepreneur recently added to her retail empire with the opening of Lewes Wear in downtown Lewes, and she also opened Blooming Boutique Too in Rehoboth, next to one of four Blooming
Boutique stores. She also owns Treasures and Lewes Gifts in Lewes. In all, Seto has nine stores.

Lewes Wear (109 Savannah Road, Unit B, Lewes; 827-4405, leweswear.com) is an offshoot of Seto’s Lewes Gifts, a shop on Second Street. The existing store offered clothing, hats and other items with “Lewes” on them. It also has gift items. When space became available near Striper Bites, Seto jumped on the opportunity to separate the two sides of the shop’s business. “There wasn’t a dedicated store that sold Lewes clothing,” Seto explains.

The store also features mugs, magnets, totes, garden flags and other items boasting a logo created by Seto’s sister, a graphic designer. “It’s not the kind of thing you’d see on the boardwalk,” Seto says.

Her Blooming Boutique Too (216A Rehoboth Ave., Rehoboth; 226-1900) is devoted to jewelry. The store, as well as all the Blooming Boutique shops, is a go-to spot for collectible beads by such brands at Trollbeads and Kameleon. Many exclusive beads are only available in the area at Seto’s stores.

Also in Rehoboth, Simply Dressed opened in April in space formerly occupied by Crysti (33 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth; 227-2818, simply-dressed.com). (Crysti’s owners retired.) The shop is near other clothing boutiques making it the “Rodeo Drive of Rehoboth,” says Bernie Fensterwald, who owns it with wife Beth, Tom Durso and Tim Colfer. 

Eileen Fisher is one of the new shop’s premium brands. But there are more than 35 different clothing lines, including 3 Dots, Donna Morgan and Tori Richard. You’ll also find jewelry, handbags and accessories. 

Anthony Gambacorta in January opened Shore Silver (149 Rehoboth Ave., Village by the Sea Mall, Rehoboth; 227-1707, shoresilver.com) in the old Silver Works space. (The owners retired.) “We’d been friends for years and I pursued them,” says Gambacorta, whose family previously owned a car dealership in New Castle County. “I wanted to continue the Silver Works tradition. They’ve been showing me the ropes.”

He’s enhanced the offerings. Where once there were four sizes of hoop earrings, for instance, there are now up to 15. There’s also a large selection of stainless steel and jewelry made with larimar, a stone from the Dominican Republic often associated with the sunny Caribbean.

In Bethany, Jen Vernon, a veteran on the retail clothing scene, last May opened Haven Blu (123 Garfield Parkway, Lighthouse Station, Bethany Beach; 539-4785)

“I always wanted to do my own thing,” she says. Which means breezy fashions with bohemian flair, such as items from Free People or Indah. The price point has a pleasing range, from $30 to $200 for a dress and Flying Tomato tops for between $20 and $40. There’s fun jewelry, scarves, bags and some swimwear. Vernon says her customer base spans a wide age range. 

Boutiques aren’t limited to adults. Tidepool Toys & Games, which for three years has had a Bethany Beach location, in April opened a Fenwick site (100 Coastal Highway, Store 6; 581-0241, tidepooltoys.com).

“Fenwick didn’t have a toy store like ours in the area,” says co-owner Sandy Smyth about selecting his new location. Tidepool offers games, crafts, kites, beach toys and puzzles that are high grade. Brands include LEGO, Alex, Melissa & Doug and Premier Kites.

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