The Boston: 3 Levels of Shopping

An adventure in shopping, The Boston, at 121 N. Main St., in downtown Urbana, features a wide array of booths maintained by more than 60 independent vendors on three floors.

The store, open seven days a week, is packed with treasures – antiques, vintage clothing, collectibles, art, musical instruments and modern home décor – and is arranged in special sections, such as the Paris Boardwalk, designed as a street scape with storefronts.

It’s all managed by owner Gina Mokry, who infuses The Boston with her energy and optimism. She tells me, “When I opened The Boston (in 2010), I said to our vendors in my first meeting with them, ‘There is no recession. Urbana is booming.’” The Boston has been operating successfully since.

Linda Cheney welcomes customers to The Boston, modeling a dress she fashioned out of curtains. By the way, the antique sleigh isn’t merely for decoration. It’s for sale.

About two years ago Gina came to town from Texas to visit her daughter, Kristie Herlong, and grandson, Sam. At the time, Kristie had a store, The Green Owl, on E. Court St.

“Immediately, I fell in love with Urbana,” Gina says. “And here I am.”

An Incubator for Success

Kristie helped her mom open the business and moved The Green Owl into a room on the second floor. Kristie has since moved again to open a new store up Main Street, Dorcey’s. Another Boston vendor – Isaac Cohn, a Graham High School senior – joined her at Dorcey’s. But that’s for another blog post.

Gina considers The Boston a business incubator – an affordable way for her vendors to enter the market and grow. And it’s a great way to offer customers a broad selection of shopping treasures on three floors, under one roof.

For Christmas Shopping

Linda Cheney of The Boston says the store is all about helping Christmas surprises happen. She enjoys assisting children find presents for their moms and dads – within their budget.

She adds that they’ve also been known to pass Christmas gift suggestions left by women to their husbands (or vice versa). They’ll even put a fictitious name on the hold slip tagged to a present that’s to be picked up later – just to throw off the recipient.

About The Boston

Address: 121 N. Main St., Urbana
Phone: 937-652-0410
Facebook: The Boston
Hours:   Open 7 days a week
Mon.-Thur., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Fri., 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sat., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun., 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Coffee: It’s on the house!

Today’s bonus: Gina was an interior decorator when she lived in Arkansas. One of her clients was Sam Walton, founder of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is commonly considered the bane of small-town retail. However, Gina says, “Wal-Mart is not our competition.” She’s confident that the locally-owned shops of downtown Urbana offer distinctively valuable merchandise and service that just can’t be compared with what the big box stores offer.

Comments

  1. LOVE the Boston! I’m so glad Gina pursued her vision for the Boston. Thanks to her, Urbana’s downtown is filling up with new business owners willing to take the risk.

    I fell in love with Urbana the first time I drove through, more than 10 years ago. Although I moved to Texas, Urbana will always have a special place in my heart. It is fun to see the downtown continue to prosper with new and exciting businesses!

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