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Posted on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 5:58 a.m.

Former Suwanee Springs space in downtown Ann Arbor gets new tenant: luxury cosmetic boutique

By Lizzy Alfs


The former Suwanee Springs clothing shop at 306 S. Main St. has a new tenant: Lily Grace Cosmetics. Owner Cyndi Clark hopes to open by December.

Lizzy Alfs |

A local entrepreneur recently signed a deal to open a cosmetics boutique in the former Suwanee Springs space on downtown Ann Arbor’s South Main Street.

The store, Lily Grace Cosmetics, will be located at 306 S. Main St. in the Pratt Block building, which is owned by The Shaffran Companies.

Owner Cyndi Clark has had her hand in the cosmetic industry for 22 years, she said. As a “true Ann Arborite,” Clark said it was time to settle down in Ann Arbor and open a neighborhood cosmetics store.

“I want to live here,” she said. “I want to retire here. This is my home, and after moving away three times, I am putting my foot down.”


The inside of the new Lily Grace Cosmetic store at 306 S. Main St, which is currently under construction.

Photo by Linda Bidlack

Lily Grace Cosmetics, which gets its name from Clark’s granddaughter, will carry makeup, skincare and home gifts. Clark said the store will offer a large selection of brands with wide-ranging price points.

“We’ll have high-tech skincare brands and natural brands,” she said. “We’ll have brands that are very hard to find and iconic brands. I’m bringing things in for everyone.”

Clark said she also plans to have extensive sampling in the store, makeup appointments, makeup application videos on YouTube, fashion shows, a rewards program, makeup seminars and women’s health seminars.

“Once a month, we’ll have free health seminars with experts from Ann Arbor,” Clark explained. “We can have conversations on nutrition or aging or smile care. We can learn from the experts.”

The store will also be open late into the evenings, Clark added.

“I want to make sure that I’m open when people want to shop,” she said. “I’m going to figure out what this neighborhood needs.”

Clark plans to have a soft opening for Lily Grace in December, with a grand opening sometime in January. She’s starting renovations on the space immediately and plans to hire three employees, she said.

The South Main Street storefront was formerly occupied by Suwanee Springs clothing shop, which closed in May after 38 years.

Clark said she “fell in love” with the location with its large windows and prime frontage on a popular strip of South Main Street.

Ed Shaffran, owner of The Shaffran Companies, said he received a large amount of interest in the space from both retailers and restaurants.

Shaffran said he wanted a “true retail” use for the space, in part because of the apartments located upstairs.

“I think what Cyndi is offering is unique to the downtown, and our history certainly is to work with those unique tenants,” he said. “What she is offering sounds like a great plan.”

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Mon, Dec 12, 2011 : 3:07 p.m.

While not covered yet, this store is now open. I've been in there twice since Midnight Madness - great atmosphere and staff. I'm addicted to one of the candle brands they carry now.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 8:30 p.m.

As one who still longs for Jacobson's, where you could buy skin-care products and make-up without going to the mall, I think this is a good idea for this location. But I have to disagree with racerx who said, "However, the student traffic that dominates this area . . .". This is on Main Street, not on campus. Many locals, not only students, live and shop downtown. It always irks me to hear State Street described as being downtown. State Street is campus. Main Street is downtown.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 7 p.m.

It's sad that some folks turn to anonymous forums to bash folks who are trying to do something positive for the community. Go ahead and kvetch about a local businesswoman trying to create a local business. I'll choose to support instead.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

I think its great that liberal Ann Arbor is opening yet another store the poor will shop at. Hypocrites LOL!


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 5:08 p.m.

So Cinnabar, you wanted to pay the rent for this place and open a soup kitchen or a 7-11 there, but the cosmetic use beat you to it? "liberal Ann Arbor" is not opening yet another store. Rather, Ms. Clark is taking on the business risk of opening a store and is investing money to do so. I'm not seeing the hypocrisy there.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:16 p.m.

Good luck. I guess the rent is so high that the only way a business can survive is to offer "luxury" products in this area. However, the student traffic that dominates this area will still find Briarwood cheaper with both Sephora and Mac products at Macy's. Along with cheap bus transportation and free parking. Do a little research. These two stores have quite a bit of student traffic for these products.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 2:33 p.m.

True - but those who tend to wander Main St are those with fatter wallets, generally.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

This sounds very cool... I agree - thank goodness it's not a another restaurant!! I will be checking this out. This kind of business has a lot of potential and I'd much rather shop local than hit up Sephora.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 12:49 p.m.

this sounds intriguing -- I will certainly visit :)

Susan Montgomery

Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:15 a.m.

Smile care?


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

I'm not a retail expert, but opening in January seems to miss a primary season for retailers, the holidays. Anyway, I wish her luck in a challenging and tough economic climate. Thank you, Mr. Shaffran, for not adding another restaurant to Main Street. Will a lux cosmetics boutique succeed in A2? Time will tell. There are a lot of lux shops on Main St already, but hopefully the owner has done her research and won't have to post a "for rent" sign in a year.


Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 3:52 p.m.

The article states that she's opening in December.