In early September, Jessie Senese and her crew quietly opened Pink Moon Mercantile in the heart of Main Gate Square across from the University of Arizona campus.
The shop sells everything from home décor and gardening supplies to quaint trinkets and jewelry.
Senese said she saw the space that was home to a cosmetics shop and Aveda Institute Tucson cosmetology school at 845 N. Park Ave. as the perfect location for her newest family business. She had operated Sweet Lulu, an online retail store, for several years outside Chicago; she sold it at the beginning of the pandemic.
“There aren't many home décor and gift-type boutiques,” Senese said, who opened the store on Sept. 9. “I hope it's a place where people can go and get a little something to cheer them up or brighten their day because college can be a trying time.”
Here are five things Senese said about the new gift boutique at Main Gate Square.
1) The woman behind Pink: Pink Moon Mercantile isn’t Senese’s first retail rodeo.
Senese said she turned Sweet Lulu, her online business that specializes in handpicked party supplies, into a household name in places like Brazil and Dubai.
When COVID-19 hit, Senese sold the business and started looking for her next venture with her sister, who lives in Tucson. The pair stumbled upon the north Park Avenue storefront that was practically in her sister’s backyard. As soon as she saw the opening at Main Gate Square, Senese flew to Tucson from Chicago and got to work.
2) How the team comes up with the items they sell: Senese and her team source items from across the globe. She attends gift shows, local markets and purchases things online, spending much of her time on the computer looking for things that match her aesthetic. She also works with smaller producers.
3) What’s in the store and the price point: Pink Moon offers a variety of inventory with prices ranging from $4 self-care items to $2,000-plus furniture and home goods.
When finding inventory, Senese asks herself, “Not only what do I buy for myself, but what would my daughter buy for me?” She tries to be conscious of different price points and different versions of her products.
Some items sold online and in-store include throw blankets and pillows, wall prints, friendship bracelets, vinyl stickers, books, sunglasses, reusable totes, plant tools and trendy hair accessories.
4) Environment conscious with an eye on sustainability: Wherever the Pink Moon crew can do better while running a brand that remains environmentally friendly, they are working to make that change. Goods are packaged in bags made of recycled materials; the area near the cash register was constructed from a bamboo wall left behind by Aveda.
“Eco-friendlier options are very important to me. We are trying to source more eco-friendly brands,” Senese said.
5) Hours and location: Pink Moon Mercantile at 845 N. Park Ave., near Panera Bread. It’s open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and from 11 a.m to 3 p.m. on Sundays. The store’s grand opening was held during Family Weekend Oct. 7-9.
*El Inde Arizona is a news service of the University of Arizona School of Journalism.
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