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'Tesori means treasures in Italian' and it's in downtown

Char Westman (right), owner of Tesori Gifts, with employee of five years, Sallie Keehn, show off  the Vera Bradley section of the boutique. photo by K. Crain (click for larger version)
July 13, 2011 - By Katelyn Crain

Intern for The Review

You know those stores which have that cozy feeling when you walk in -- a store you could walk around in for hours?

That's the exact feeling Tesori Gifts gives to people. It may be the atmosphere or the merchandise they offer, but either way, it's a store that needs to be experienced.

Char Westman and her husband, Tim, are the co-owners of Tesori Gifts, located on W. Flint Street in downtown Lake Orion. About five years ago, the idea for the business sparked and the store was created.

"It was a family idea. My sister in-law opened a store in Western Michigan, and one day my brother suggested that my husband and I should open a store in our town. After we all went shopping and thought about it, we just realized that it was the right thing to do," she said. "I had some money saved up, and I used it to open the store which was located in Lapeer. My husband and I ended up moving to Lake Orion, so we also moved the store here. And believe it or not, five years ago, there was no retail shopping in downtown Lake Orion.

"We had a store on Broadway Street and were there for two years. We then grew out of that space and moved in to this location. I'm just so excited to be in this spot, I can't believe it's been three years already. It was a blessing in disguise, honestly."

Tesori Gifts offers many unique and special things for all different people. Things such as Vera Bradley bags and accessories, Handmade Jewelry, reading cards, candles as well as gourmet foods and teas can be purchased there.

"We have shoppers from eight to 88-years-old. And that makes sense because our slogan is 'a little something for everyone'. We are not a Hallmark store, we can't compete with a Hallmark store, and therefore we need to be our own store," she said "We really strive to find something different and unique. Tesori means treasures in Italian, so we try to find little treasures that are one of a kind and unusual.

"Like always, we're trying to bring in different things; I would like to start selling some more tops for adults, but without competing with the clothes that Elements sells. I don't want to compete with my neighbor, but I want to carry something that different," she said.

As happy as Westman is with the way her business is currently, she continues to look for items that catch her eye to bring into the boutique.

She particularly looks for things that are made in the US and she is going above and beyond looking for Michigan made things as well.

Westman understands that she is very fortunate for the location of her store and the people that surround it. She will be the first to say, that there is nothing negative about any of it, it is absolutely nothing but positive.

"I'm so glad that we have neighbors the way we do, this whole town is amazing and we have such a variety of stores," she said. "We just love where we are at, and I can only see it going up from here."

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