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Jezebel's closes, new boutique moving in

Jezebel's just closed its doors last Friday, but the building will be bustling again before long.

By March, the now-vacant building will reopen as a new business, a boutique called Level III.

It will be the second shop in Perham owned by Andrea Grieff, who less than a year ago opened Dot & Minnie's - an apparel store that's right across the street from the former Jezebel's.

"Level III will have the same simple and open design of Dot & Minnie's, but with an urban flair," explained Grieff. "This store (Dot & Minnie's) is neat and clean; Level III will have more of an edge, a more eclectic offering."

With the help of some experienced staff, Grieff will run both stores, splitting her time between the two.

In an interview Monday, Grieff said she wasn't planning on opening a second store for at least another year, if at all, but when the opportunity arose to rent this particular space, she jumped on it. She heard about the building opening up on a Wednesday, she said, and, after a few feedback-gathering phone calls to family and friends, signed a lease that Thursday afternoon.

"Things happened very quickly," she said. "But not many people get the opportunity to expand right across the street... We're excited about having a second location. It gives us a chance to expand our product offerings and bring another new and fresh boutique to Perham."

Plus, she added, the building is a catch. The old Bank of Perham, it still has some original woodwork, a historic bank window on the front, and a huge old safe in the back that now functions as a back room. Yet it's been updated well, most recently by the former owner of Jezebel's, Marlene Card-Reeck.

Because of that, Grieff won't have to do any extensive remodeling, just some redesign to create a look that fits her "edgier" yet "fun and professional" vision for the store. She's gotten great feedback from customers on the style and fashions at Dot & Minnie's, she said, and is hoping to hear similar positive things about Level III once it's open.

Another perk of the building is its location. Aside from being across the street from Dot & Minnie's, it's on a well-trafficked corner of downtown.

"Marlene did a good job establishing that corner, and we don't want to lose that momentum," said Grieff. "I think it's important to keep that corner alive and keep people coming down our street."

In a separate phone interview, Card-Reeck said she encouraged Grieff to take over the building.

"She was an excellent neighbor to me," the former Jezebel's owner said of Grieff. "People love her. She'll be excellent."

Card-Reeck said closing down Jezebel's wasn't a decision she made lightly.

"The store was doing great," she said, "but I had another opportunity I absolutely could not pass up. It was a bittersweet thing for me."

As of Monday, Grieff had yet to step foot inside her new shop, though she had already finalized a logo for it and planned to start repainting and putting together some displays soon.

"People will just have to come and see how it turns out," she said with a smile.

The name, Level III, is a play on Grieff's 'third generation' status as the granddaughter of her first store's namesakes, her grandmothers, Dot and Minnie.