Made in US/Canada Shop Opening in EVL

By Colleen Mahoney

Liz Boberg always had “this dream in my mind of opening a business of my own.” Armed with an associate’s degree in business and a bachelor’s degree in fine art, Boberg is now venturing into the small business world.

Opening this weekend, Ameri-Can is Boberg’s dream coming true.

The shop, which specializes in U.S. and Canadian-made clothing, antiques and artwork, will officially open its doors Labor Day weekend.

Initially, the shop will sell women’s and men’s streetwear, but it will eventually include children’s clothing as well.

Boberg, who worked at The Red Door for 27 years, knows the retail clothing business well. Jackets, coats and separates will be sold in the shop, as well as accessories and a “mix of everything.” With the change of seasons and holidays, Boberg hopes to update her inventory in one dedicated room, to reflect the shopping needs of customers.

On the artisan side, Ameri-Can will showcase local artist’s creations, including her own. With the work of John Mets, Todd Plough, Darlene Allen, Suzy Critters and Calla Wagner, Boberg promises there will be something for everyone. Wagner and Critters, who specialize in statement signs and whimsical creatures, respectively, will add “an air of delight and humor.” Plough will showcase his fine arts and oil paintings, while Allen has reflective imagery and microphotography.

“If you don’t know what that means, you’ll have to come down and find out,” Boberg laughed. “There are just so many talented artists, and this is almost like a gallery setting mixed in with gifts and clothing.”

As for her own art, Boberg paints with acrylics using metal items such as cross cut saws and frying pans as her canvases. She also uses her talents to repurpose furniture and frames, or anything she can find. Most of Boberg’s repurposed furniture is items she finds, though she is willing to reimagine and change pieces that customers bring to her.

“I like to repurpose old furniture, anything really, into something functional so it can re-enter someone’s family,” Boberg said. “I just dabbled, but I finally feel it’s my time to see how much more creative I can get.”

The antiques being sold at Ameri-Can are items that friends have collected over the years, as well as items she finds. There’s also a wide assortment of local Amish products, including woven rag rugs, iron works, toys and housewares for sale. “Their stuff is so amazing and beautiful,” Boberg said. “I think some people are nervous to venture out to [Amish country], so this is a way to showcase the workmanship of our local families.”

All natural, gluten-free snacks made by the Apple Cookie Company in Turtle Creek, PA, will also be for sale. Boberg said she’ll carry granola, power bars, cookies and brownies which are all individually wrapped and ready for munching.

With the final touches being put on the shop – the front door was repainted earlier in the week – Boberg is a mix of nerves and excitement as she readies to open.

“I’m ready to see customers I worked with in the past come back and see what’s been going on,” Boberg said. “We have created a buzz, and it’s all been good, positive feedback.”

Ameri-Can is located at 11 Washington St., between Dina’s and M&T Bank, in the former Red Door location. Hours will be Monday –Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. During the winter, festival and holiday season, Boberg expects to have extended weekend hours. The shop can be reached at (716) 699-6690.