Originally published in the Medicine Hat News
Roset by Reid, the jewelry store that has been a staple of downtown Medicine Hat for nearly 40 years, is relocating to the old Fire Hall No. 2 on the city’s south side.
“We put a lot of blood, sweat and tears down here,” said Chelsea Siggelkow, Roset by Reid’s president. “We’ve invested a lot into downtown and this space in particular.
“Downtown comes with a lot of character. There’s a lot of great locally-owned businesses down here.”
Siggelkow’s parents, Duane and Marilyn Roset, after whom the store is named, opened downtown in 1979.
Siggelkow said despite the family business’s strong attachment to the downtown core, the move to Dunmore Road is an effort to grow its customer base.
“In business, you try and make decisions that elevate your business to the next level. This allows us to go and expand.
“There’s two things that hinder us being downtown, as much as we love downtown,” said Siggelkow.
The first is parking, which she described as a “chronic problem” with the current location that will be remedied with the move.
The other issue is visibility, which she said will be enhanced with the new location on Dunmore Road. Plans are to open at the new location some time in November.
“It’s just the next step for our business,” Siggelkow said, adding she retains high hopes for the city’s downtown core.
“I hope the future of downtown is locally-owned boutiques and eclectic shops that people can walk around, get a coffee (and) shop — kind of the epicentre of the city,” she said.
Siggelkow says she and her husband, who works as a firefighter, plan to renovate the old fire hall while respecting its history.
“Travis and I saw a ton of potential and character in that space,” Siggelkow said.
“We really wanted to keep the heritage and the history of the space too … It would have been really sad for someone to just come in and demolish that building and start over.”
Although they have to get rid of the garage doors, as they don’t suit the purposes of a jewelry store, they’re going to frame the windows to resemble them.
They’re also maintaining the building’s hose tower, original fire alarms and “bits and pieces” they discovered through the demolition process.
“The bones are staying and the bones are awesome,” she said.
Since Travis is a firefighter, the family has a special connection to the building, but the city had to exert extra caution when selling it to them to avoid any perception of nepotism.
“If anything, they were more strict with us, because it couldn’t be seen as giving any special attention (or) favours,” Siggelkow said.
The downtown location will remain open into the new year after the big move.
“We are going to keep both locations open for Christmas,” said Siggelkow. “We’ll keep a huge sale running and run that all the way through the Christmas season.”
Siggelkow praised her loyal customer base that has returned year after year.
“We love our local clients and we have some amazing, faithful clients who come back every year,” she said. “Those are the relationships you build on. You know what they bought last year, you know what their wife does for a living, you know the details of their life.
“That’s what’s beautiful about a city this size.”