When you walk into Bradly’s Home and Garden, you feel like you’ve walked into an upscale boutique in downtown Chicago or San Francisco, rather than in Lansing. Bradly’s offers high-quality furniture and accessories for your home along with an array of services from home staging and styling to holiday decoration and pre-arranged container services for the perfect potted plants. Bradly’s Home and Garden officially moved into their current location in April of this year, which is the former Greenfield Collection Antiques location. A month ago, they expanded into the space next door, the former Grace Boutique store. With the combined retail space, Bradly’s now covers 2,800 square feet, making it the largest retail store in Old Town. “Everything I have in my shop is something I would buy for myself. We are about having furniture and accessories that are unique and unusual. We have people in here who love to shop because they don’t see it elsewhere,” said Bradly Rakowski, owner of Bradly’s Home and Garden. “We’ve had people say we are the ‘cool Pottery Barn’ and they can’t believe this shop exists in Lansing.” Bradly’s carries items from 20 Michigan and 10 U.S. companies as well as international goods. You’ll find a gallery of beautifully-designed art glass pieces made by local artist, Craig Mitchell Smith, along with Tessoro jewelry, handcrafted with birch bark and precious metals by Deborah Bushinski. Bradly’s also carries several lines of high-quality furniture, such as Noir, SunPan and Modern Home, all of which can be special ordered. Other unique items are the Lead Head glass terrariums created with reclaimed raw materials from deconstructed homes in Detroit. Rakowski’s passion for furniture, architecture and art began at an early age. “I’ve been refinishing furniture since I was 13. I bought an antique chair with my own money. I refinished it and reupholstered it all by myself. I’ve been helping my mom paint and wallpaper since I was 12,” said Rakowski. Rakowski studied fashion and interior design at the Institute of Merchandising and Design, formerly located in Lansing. When asked where this passion comes from, Rakowski adds “I have that education, but I think that more importantly, I had a good role model with my mom and my grandparents who had really good tastes.” It was in June 2011 that Rakowski made the decision to open his own business. He started Brady’s Home and Garden with a 480-square foot corner space at the Old Town Comfort Station next to Pablo’s. “My friend Troy, who is also my store manager, he and I drove to Chicago, to the Merchandise Mart. I narrowed it down to seven vendors that I was going to carry. One was the Noir furniture line. They’ve been in business for 12 years and they have great styling and all hard wood construction. I now have over 60 lines. Every year we just grow,” said Rakowski. When asked how he chooses what products to sell in his shop, Rakowski adds “You have to pick out what fits your personal style. It’s a matter of just knowing yourself. I say, this is something I love, this is something that I would be proud to sell. I won’t sell anything I don’t believe in, because I stand behind my products.” Rakowski says his style is the juxtaposition of something natural with something man-made. As you look around his shop you’ll see highly-polished metals, crystal and porcelain paired with natural elements of bark, horn and wood mixed with aged finishes. He prefers to call his unique style, Rustic Glamour. According to Rakowski, his prices are competitive, lower than other chain websites. “My philosophy is that why does everything that is beautiful have to be so expensive. We are about 30 percent less than most retail places, including all of our hard wood construction furniture.” Bradly’s Home and Garden is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is located at 117 E. Grand River Ave. Lansing, MI 48906. For more information, visit www.bradlyshomeandgarden.com. Kristine Richmond is the Public Relations Specialist at M3 Group. She specializes in helping clients tell their stories of changed lives, fiscal success, philanthropic support and more by creating engaging messages that grab customers’ attention and cause them to act.