An antique retailer wants to give Forest Hill a jumpstart.
Southside residents Marcel Outeiro and Mark Robertson are converting a long vacant Forest Hill house into Nest, a retail hub for local art, jewelry, garden supplies and home furnishings. The owners are shooting for a March 1 opening.The 2,600-square-foot space at 3404 Semmes Ave. is down the street from Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream and Parkside Cafe.
Robertson said he wants Nest to be the catalyst that turns the Forest Hill and Woodland Heights areas into a vibrant commercial strip.
“I think this is a prime area for revitalization,” said Robertson, 43. “I’ve lived in the neighborhood since 1989, when there wasn’t much here. Now you have people moving in, it’s really an up-and-coming area.”
Nest will be stocked with pieces Robertson and Outerio have collected over the years, and they plan to accept items on consignment. To test the market, they set up a temporary booth at the West End Antiques Mall.
“It’s going to be a farmer’s market for artisan products,” Roberston said of the new venture.
The shop will be at least the second new retailer to test the waters in that part of town. Last year, Coqui Cyclery opened at 3416 Semmes Ave.
Outerio, 45, said part of Nest would be a gallery space for Richmond artists, about 40 of whom have expressed interest in showing there.
A Richmond native who began collecting antiques at age 13, Robertson has a background in retail. Outerio moved to the area from San Francisco and worked in the floral design business before striking out on his own.
Nest has been in the works for about two years, and Robertson said they financed the project out of personal savings.
“Our strength is taking the biggest bunch of mismatched things you’ve ever seen and turning them into something really great,” Robertson said.
This sounds great, but I’m not sure what the writer means mean by a “jumpstart.” I jump start my battery when it’s dead. The Forest Hill community is far from dead. Perhaps, she should take a stroll through the area and discover all the cool “alive” things that are going on.
I’m sure this retailer will be a welcome(d) addition to a very vibrant neighborhood.
This is a wonderful concept and a perfect neighborhood for it.
I am so excited about this shop. I have seen the work of these guys over the years. I swear they have a way of making everything lovely. I fully expect this to be the new hottest shop…now if a little pastry shop would open up in the area, all will be perfect!
Thank you for investing in Forest Hill and supporting local artists.
In response to Steve – thanks for the comments but I must admit I am not quite sure about the “jumpstart” either. Rest assured we LOVE this neighborhood and only want the best for it (we live less than two blocks away from the new shop). What I meant by being a catalyst for change was strickly regarding that small strip of commercial properties where Forest Hill and Semmes Avenues split off. Our hope is with Coqui Cyclery at one end, and Nest at the other, the rest of the strip can/will eventually be cleaned up. Antonz barber shop is… Read more »
Have always thought that little district was just begging for the right mix of retailers. Thank you for saving a beautiful house (I thought it was a goner!) and for investing in our neighborhood.
I have a great Victorian cupboard, oak with stained glass doors in perfect condition. I would love to send you the photos to see if you are interested in purchasing or consigning or selling. email?
Do you have a website displaying some of your jewelry? Do you do a lot of work using gemstones and white gold?