Chesterton Tribune



Renovation Awards: Moth Wing Studio, Three Moons Fiberworks, Preferred Services

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Mark Hopkins, owner of Hopkins Ace Hardware, 325 S. Calumet Road in Chesterton, is one of this year’s recipients of the Duneland Chamber of Commerce’s Business Renovation of the Year Award, for the Moth Wing Studio space recently opened at the store.

Also winning Renovation of the Year awards were Three Moon Fiberworks, 402 Broadway in Chesterton; and Prepared Services, 505 Grant Ave.

Presenting the awards was Paul Boyter, who said that Hopkins’ wife, Michele, and daughter, Emily, had been thinking for some time of creating an art studio. And when space became available at the Ace Hardware, they jumped at it, beginning their renovation in June 2018.

“In the studio”--managed by Emily Hopkins--“customers can paint ceramic pieces, which are fired in the on-site kiln, create spin art, and in addition do fused glass projects,” Boyter said. “A renovation like this deserves recognition. It is exactly the kind of business needed for a town that is inspired by the Art of Living.”

Indeed, the “Art of Living” is the Town of Chesterton’s new brand, under the aegis of the Chesterton Rebranding Leadership Committee, of which Mark Hopkins has been a highly active, productive, and generous member since its establishment. “Taking a look at the whole Downtown and not just at my own four walls,” Hopkins said, “made me realize that there’s a lot of work to be done. And I plan to be there to help.”

And Moth Wing Studio itself has become part of the Art of Living in Downtown Chesterton. “We wanted to do something exciting,” Hopkins added. “It’s not just classes there. You can just drop by.”

Three Moon Fiberworks

As Boyter noted about 402 Broadway--the old post office building--renovating the historic building “took a labor of love, and quite a bit of investment and negotiation, for this one-of-a-kind, full-spectrum fiber arts studio to come to fruition.”

Owner of Three Moon: Rebecca Riley-Vargas. And the brains behind the renovation: Richard and Annmarie Riley, owners of Riley’s Railhouse, 123 N. Fourth St.

“This space is dedicated to providing fiber artists with a space to explore their creativity and skill,” Boyter said. “The 4,000 square feet of space dedicated to fiber processing, dyeing, spinning, weaving, and so much more will add to the Downtown arts vibe that has been emerging. Each new store opening is a new stitch in what will end up being a seamless pattern of creative, artistic expression that every person will enjoy, from the new visitors to those who remember what used to be, all part of the process and renovation of our Downtown fabric.

“A big thank-you to Richard and Annmarie Riley for their substantial investment in getting the building up and running and for finding the perfect tenant.”

Riley-Vargas thanked her husband and daughter in particular “for helping in this long process and for the late nights.”

Preferred Services

Finally, Boyter spoke of the founding of Preferred Services by Derrick Serriani and Joshua Strasburg, who “have been so quiet about the amazing progress” they’ve made in the renovation of the original Pioneer Lumber building at 505 Grant Ave.

Serriani and Strasburg first went into the restoration, remodeling, and mitigation business, but eventually realized that the old Pioneer Lumber space held other opportunities as well. Now “the warehouse after extensive remodeling features offices available for co-working space and a conference room for seminars and workshops,” Boyter said. “The Prepared Services Family says that ‘workspaces have the power to transform your business, unlocking the potential of people and organizations.’ The space was created using intentional design, warm hospitality, and motivational quotes on every wall you see.”

But the facility also “has a permanent stage and seat for several hundred, a venue not simply for weddings and receptions but all manner of events, networking and what Serriani described as ‘churning folks creatively: concerts, dances, performances, and exhibits.’”

Accepting the award was Serriani. “God has given the opportunity for us to share and we’re very excited about it,” he said. “The best thing I can say is that following your heart is very important, and giving back to the community.”


Posted 7/18/2019




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