The first thing you feel when you enter Bibury & Co. in Mantua is warmth. The intimate 800-square-foot space feels like it’s giving you a hug as you enter through a mustard yellow door with a simple window display that’s usually showcasing handmade cards, colorful mugs and pillows hand-stitched by owner Ann Ellis’ mother.
But many will be surprised to hear that the welcoming little spot first started out as a cardmaking endeavor by Ellis. “It was just a creative outlet and then it kind of just grew,” says Ellis, who started making quirky, collage cards in 2015. A year ago, she made the decision to open a storefront tucked along East Prospect Street.
Today Ellis’ store features 20 to 25 local and small vendors who make everything from soap, vintage-inspired journals, artisanal teas and other feel-good items. While you’ll definitely find a punny, relatable card at the shop, you might also see a handmade broom with rainbow bristles, carefully handblown glass items and cozy mittens made from recycled sweaters.
“We tried to be very different,” Ellis says. “We definitely try to go with people that do things just a little bit more unusual, a little less common.”
Local pride can be found in items such as “The Only Way is Mantua” tote ($22), while unique curated items such as handmade journals assembled in Morocco with French paper have a worldly feel to them. No matter what the items remind you of, they all have a sense of home and community.
“Bibury is a lovely little village in England,” says Ellis of the inspiration behind the shop’s name. “When we first started the card company, we joked we would go on a vacation there when we sold enough cards. We decided to open a store with some of the amazing artists we met along the way instead, thus the ‘& Co.’ ”
Item We Love: Ravenna-based soap maker Emily Stracher is one of the local vendors carried in the shop. These handmade soap bars come in various scents such as Summer in Shalersville ($5.50), which smells of honeysuckle, patchouli and lavender. etsy.com/shop/emilyssoaps
When You Go: Bibury & Co.
4672 E. Prospect St., Mantua, 234-755-0159, facebook.com/biburyandco
Nearby Find: Forage & Feather, another hub for artisanal makers, has you covered with chalk paints for home projects, wooden signs, fun glassware and more. 4690 E. Prospect St., Mantua, facebook.com/forageandfeather