Featuring the Coastal Crab brand that so many of us have grown to love, Coastal Gifts on Main is a new store in town with its Grand Opening this Saturday, May 23.

Many of you are familiar with the Coastal Crab product line. Owners Rachel Redding and Laura Westner started the company in July 2016. Both are full-time teachers – Redding teaches computer graphics at East Lyme High School while Westner teaches physical education at Old Saybrook High School. They enjoy meeting new people and getting to know their customers as they share their brand in a retail setting.

Redding is a graphic designer and has had years of experience in the screen-printing business. She initially came up with the logo and the brand name and went on to create a few sample shirts. When she and Westner wore the shirts around town one summer, the reaction they received was a positive one. People started to ask where they could purchase these shirts.

So, they started Coastal Crab as an online business and initially sold their products at Farmers’ Markets and other local events. They expanded their brand recognition, and more and more folks began to recognize the logo and seek out the clothing and other items.

In August 2018, Coastal Crab began to sell their products in a shared space with Smoochie Bird, another customer-favorite business on Main street, owned by Cindy Lightner. They started to offer a select few t-shirts, long-sleeve shirts and sweatshirts in a corner of the shop. As their products began to sell, and more and more people came in asking for them, Lightner asked if they would like to expand. She offered them 50 percent of the space in the store if they would be willing to share expenses. Redding and Westner were grateful for the opportunity, and the collaboration proved successful. It provided a way for them to broaden familiarity with their unique brand. And they began to build an even stronger following. When the new retail space became available, they knew the time was right to expand their business once again and open their own place.

The new location at 266 Main Street is the perfect size for the expanded business. In addition to the items they sell on their website, they will offer customized Niantic and Waterford apparel. They hope to benefit from plenty of foot traffic in the heart of downtown.

Their brand is designed for everyone. They purposely chose colors and styles that will appeal to young and old alike. Their clothes are comfortable, casual and affordable. They’re available for all ages – in fact, their customers range from babies to senior citizens. Teenagers love their comfortable styles and fun colors, too. They enjoy seeing how many different people wear the Coastal Crab brand.

The long-sleeve tees are their bestsellers. They offer them in many different colors and sizes. Also, take a close look, because they have created new designs along the way, for example, their vintage line and their USA

line. They love to come up with new ideas and follow trends. Their plans are to include seasonal items in the store. It sounds like you’ll want to stop in often to see what’s new!

While their new store will feature the Coastal Crab brand, they will also offer a variety of unique and beach-themed gift options. They hope to be your go-to shop when you need to pick up a small gift for someone. While downtown Niantic visitors will enjoy a new shop, locals will appreciate having a year-round clothing and gift shop right in our own backyard.

Their store hours this weekend will be Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. After the weekend, they will update their hours. Visit them on Facebook and Instagram at coastalgifts_onmain to stay informed. Their website, coastalcrabct.com, features Coastal Crab products. You’ll be delighted by the additional items offered in their store.

Coastal Gifts on Main will follow all Covid-19 guidelines for retail stores. Customers will be expected to wear a mask and maintain the proper six-foot distance from others while inside the store. Along with having a hand sanitizer station, they will be wiping down and disinfecting all counters, products and displays throughout the day. If you’d prefer, curbside delivery is also available upon request. It is their top priority to keep themselves and their customers safe during this time.

Please join us in welcoming Coastal Gifts on Main to Main Street!

About Our Main Street Blogger:
Joanne lives in, and loves, our community. She was looking for an opportunity to help share all that our local businesses do to make East Lyme such a special place to call home, and she is excited to contribute to our blog. Joanne brings to the role her experience from New London Main Street where she contributed content to their website, newsletters and email communications for many years.

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