August 05, 2013
The Short North Arts District is known for its vivacity, diversity, and new and unique businesses. Niche boutiques and shops thrive in this dynamic environment, making the district home to new business additions throughout the year. In this series we take you on a more in-depth look at these businesses that have come online this past year, and the entrepreneurs that call the Short North home.
Vintage shop A Gal Named Cinda Lou may not be new to the Columbus area, but this family-owned delight is a new face in the Short North. Selling vintage clothing and home decor, as well as original handmade items, A Gal Named Cinda Lou’s extensive and diverse selection makes it a welcomed addition the District. The driving force behind this unique store is mother-daughter team Debbie and Julia Bennati, who own and operate the shop’s Westerville and Short North locations with support from the rest of the Bennati family. Rounding out the team is Henry, the family’s Boston terrier and A Gal Named Cinda Lou’s undisputed mascot.
Julia Bennati, the shop’s Short North operator and in-house artist, answers our questions and shares a bit of the shop’s history, as well as her new experiences as an entrepreneur in the Arts District.
How did A Gal Named Cinda Lou get started?
My mom and I were both at points in our life when we weren’t really sure what to do next. She had retired, I had just graduated high school and we were both looking for a next step, so we decided to open a store together.
What’s the best part of owning a vintage shop?
It’s always fun finding new items. We just recently visited a house that was completely stuck in the 70’s… it’s just fun to find things that people might have thrown away but that are actually good quality.
What inspired the unique name?
The store is named after my great-grandmother, I have always really liked her name. I was fortunate enough to have her in my life until I was in 8th grade.
Where does all of the merchandise come from?
We meet people through the store and sometimes they bring items to us. Sometimes we do house calls but we often go to auctions, flea markets and garage sales for the pieces.
What inspired you to open a Short North location?
We had wanted to make this move for quite awhile. We had a store down on campus, but really always wanted to move to the Short North. We did a show at the Columbus Museum of Art and we had a lot of people from the District really interested in what we were selling which seemed to be the last push for us to make it happen.
How has your experience in the Short North been so far?
Compared with our campus location, I really like that the Short North feels like a neighborhood. Between the visitors, permanent residents, and other business owners, there is just a sense of community that comes with this location.
For more about A Gal Named Cinda Lou, stop into the 647 N. High St and meet the family. Henry will be waiting to greet you.