A unique Midland store with an optimistic owner

Opening a new business in the midst of a pandemic can present a unique challenge, but the Northern Belle Resale Boutique is a unique store with an upbeat owner. The boutique, owned and operated by Debrina Dexter, will celebrate its first anniversary next week.

Dexter opened Northern Belle on November 2, 2020. She took over the space from Rita Tyrrell who owned Merle Norman Cosmetics and Wigs. Although Northern Belle continued to sell reused items, from clothing and books to home decor and drinks, the store also continues to sell wigs; the store is the only place in Midland that supplies wigs.

Northern Belle’s items come from all over, Dexter said, adding that she and her “pickers” are finding great deals that they pass on to customers. Dexter explained how her father died when she was nine months old and her family got into the habit of decorating their home with reused items. Resale naturally became Dexter’s passion.

“I like to reuse and reuse and recycle,” Dexter said.

One of the best things about running the store for Dexter is hearing customers’ plans for the items they’ve purchased. She explained how a woman bought a Disney plate for her husband for their birthday, when he offered it to her at Walt Disney World.

“It’s so much fun because you make that connection with people and you hear how they’re going to make someone’s day,” Dexter. “It’s heartwarming all day.

The community supported Dexter throughout his first year at the store. Regulars from Merle Norman stop to chat with Dexter while a few residents of Washington Woods come to see what’s new.

Tyrrell is another regular, who continues to be a part of Northern Belle in different ways. She’s been supportive of Dexter over the past few months, stopping to help decorate the store or just to chat. Tyrell also has a constant presence in the store through a statue of a flower girl she bought when she first opened Merle Norman Cosmetics and Wigs 48 years ago.

“I bought it from her, and named it Rita so she wouldn’t leave the store,” Dexter said with a smile.

Dexter is hosting an open house from 10 am to 4:30 pm on Monday, November 1 at the boutique, located at 507 S. Saginaw Road in Midland, to mark its first anniversary. Live music will be presented and refreshments including cider and donuts will be provided.

For more information on Northern Belle, visit www.northernbelleboutique.net, follow his Facebook page or call 989-486-3256.

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