Behind Edinboro's newest storefront, The Cottage Rose

Category:  News
Wednesday, January 29th, 2020 at 11:33 PM
Behind Edinboro's newest storefront, The Cottage Rose by Zeila Hobson
Photo: Zeila Hobson

Gina Mussett is no stranger to hard work and home goods.

Owner of The Cottage Rose, the recently added vintage furniture, home decor and accessories shop in downtown Edinboro, Mussett said, “I’ve been in retail for 30 years, always with big name retailers.”

Mussett spent these three decades in retail before deciding to open her own business. “This is my semi-retirement dream come true,” she stated. 

Mussett, her husband, David, and their daughter have lived in Edinboro since 2006. The family loves Edinboro and Mussett wanted to be a part of the community while doing something she loved.

“I wanted to take all those years of retail and put it into something that I could call my own.”

The family bought their building four years ago and spent three years renovating, working from the top down; The Cottage Rose finally opened in June 2019.

“We really wanted to show how beautiful some of these old buildings can be and how we can attract new people to the community when there’s something pretty to look at,” said Mussett.

When asked what she loves about her business, Mussett said, “Retail for me has always been [being] around people.”

She continued, “It’s really about meeting new people, hearing their stories and being able to share the community with them.”

She also enjoys being able to spend more time with her family; the last decade of her retail career was spent as a regional manager for Pier 1 Imports, which required extensive travel.

Mussett is also an incredibly active member of the Edinboro community. The Borough of Edinboro is looking for ways to generally improve, an example being the facade makeovers of several downtown businesses made possible by the borough securing a grant. However, the community wanted to further target specific areas for improvement and Mussett has become an asset to these efforts.

A town meeting held last spring operated as a think tank regarding what Edinboro has to offer and how to improve the areas that are lacking. This meeting was sponsored by the Edinboro Community and Economic Development Group (ECED), of which Mussett is vice-chairperson. The ECED is a volunteer organization dedicated to putting Edinboro on the map as a tourist attraction.

The group took detailed notes at the meeting and came up with four subcommittees: business and retail, arts, parks and recreation, and social needs. Each subcommittee is headed by an ECED member; Mussett is head of the business and retail committee.

“We have a very large, focused effort on these opportunities for the community,” Mussett explained.

“There is no reason why we shouldn’t be a ‘destination’ location. We have a plethora to offer, and we want to get the word out. I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Originally from Cleveland, Mussett has fond memories of day trips in the beautiful towns surrounding the city. “I looked around at Edinboro and thought, why not us?” she said.

The business and retail committee is working closely with the Edinboro University Beehive, an on-campus resource for branding and strategic communication.

Last year, students with the Beehive surveyed local businesses and began creating a website for the community. Potential visitors and tourists, such as the masses that arrive to participate in the summer soccer camps, will be able to utilize the website to see the businesses and restaurants Edinboro has to offer.

“There’s so much here and nobody really knows it,” Mussett said, describing drawing maps for customers to help them get to local attractions like Campbell’s Pottery or Edinboro Lake. The website will hopefully be ready for launch by the end of the spring semester. Musset hopes to present it at a spring town hall meeting.

Regarding her business and retail committee, and in general, the relationship between ECED and EU reflects the fact that neither the town nor the university could thrive without the other. The board features some EU faculty members and is supported by student efforts, like the Beehive. Mussett affirmed that she would not be surprised if other committees enlisted the help of EU students in the future.

These other committees are doing great work, too, according to Mussett.

The arts committee is focused on further beautifying the area, such as replacing the mural behind The Crossroads Dinor, and parks and recreation has visited every park in the community to see how they can be improved.

Mussett’s advice to young business owners is to: “Go for it! There are a lot of steps, but take your time, do the research and go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. If you believe in something, I say do it. If you’re passionate about something, you’re going to make it work, just don’t let anyone get in your way.”

She also mentioned the importance of having a strong support system and keeping an open mind.

“Choose really good partners,” she said. “Use your resources and don’t think that you know it all. Be open to learning and don’t give up.” For Mussett, that partner is her husband, David.

The Cottage Rose is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and has shortened hours on Friday and Sunday.
Visit their Facebook page for more information.

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