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Bells & Whistles Offers Life's Little Extras

New gift and housewares boutique opens on Leonard Street.

It’s always been a dream of Kristyn Meech’s to have a boutique that offers beautiful and affordable home products to everyone.

That lifelong aspiration finally became a reality on Thursday, Nov. 10, when she unlocked the doors to Bells & Whistles in Belmont Center to celebrate the shop’s grand opening.

“People in the town have been so welcoming and we’ve been overwhelmingly busy with a lot of repeat customers in less than a week,” said the owner and creative director of the boutique located at 68 Leonard St.

“We’re so happy to be here with what we want to portray as a one-stop gift center for the home,” Meech said. “We want people to come in, feel welcome and that we’re a part of their homes.”

The well-laid out shop carries furniture such as beds, chairs and ottomans; upholstery, tableware such as wooden bowls from Michigan and boards from Vermont, hand-blown glassware from Juliska and table settings, ceramic dishes and other items from lines such as Julia Knight, Mariposa and Sferra; bed linens by John Robshaw; custom stationery, special-event invitations and even stickers; clothing, gifts, blankets and picture frames for babies.

In addition, customers can order furniture from Meech through Somerset Bay.

Joining her at Bells & Whistles is in-house graphic artist Danielle Stewart who handles all the stationery and makes anything – from stickers to wedding announcements – specific to customer’s requests.

“We truly believe in high-level customer service,” said Meech.

Originally from Michigan, she grew to love the New England area after her parents took her on vacation to Nantucket when she was a child. While in college, Meech traveled with friends to Martha’s Vineyard several summers.

Changed career path and part of the country

After graduating from a small, mid-western college with a degree in political science and working in public relations jobs for a few years, she decided to move to Boston where she studied decorative arts at Boston Architectural College. 

“I’ve been in the interior design industry since 2001,” said Meech. “And having serviced the suburbs for years, I know what people like which is how I’ve decided what to offer in the shop.”

A Boston resident, Meech said there are plenty of shops like Bells & Whistles in the city.

“I wanted to provide people here with a local boutique so they don’t have to travel to Boston or go to a mall for tableware, gifts, linens and stationery,” she said.

As for why she picked Belmont to open her very first shop, Meech said it is an emerging community and she loves the feel of the downtown center.

“Belmont is a busy and vibrant town and I wanted to be a part of it,” she said.

Bells & Whistles is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon until 5 p.m. For additional information, call 617-489-2500 or visit the website at www.bellsandwhistlesshop.com.


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