Elmwood Villager: Half & Half Boutique

Debbie and Bill Sidel were the owners of the beloved Elmwood Village boutique, Half & Half at 1088 Elmwood Ave, for over 40 years. A few months ago, we found out that the couple was retiring and that they were passing the torch on to mother-daughter duo, Jennifer and Kilby Bronstein. The two families have a lifelong friendship, and Kilby worked at Half & Half in high school. With the Sidels’ blessings, the Bronsteins will be reopening the store this Saturday, April 16th, with a fresh look that now includes men’s and women’s clothing along with home decor.

The new look features an open floor plan and light wooden fixtures. The design of the store is especially important to Kilby and Jennifer because every fixture was handmade from recycled wood found at the Bronstein family horse farm outside of Buffalo. Reusing the wood is not only eco-friendly, but it pays homage to Kilby’s father who passed away two years ago. The Bronsteins recruited local business collaborators, Sean Wrafter (of Wrafterbuilt) and Andrew Emerson (of Emerson James Inc), for the wood and lighting fixtures.

“Passionately Chosen”

Kilby wanted to make sure that nothing at Half & Half could be found somewhere else in Buffalo. She and her mother attended shows in New York City, Atlanta, and Los Angeles- meticulously choosing every single piece in person and in collaboration with their designers. Brands include Scotch & Soda, Roberta Freymann (home decor), Smith and Cult(beauty), and Lovers + Friends among many fair trade businesses such as:

  • United By Blue– for every item sold, a pound of trash will be removed from oceans and waterways by company-organized cleanups.
  • Hippy Tree– embodies a “surf & stone” lifestyle committed to softening its environmental impact.

After working with White Bicycle, Half and Half now has its own branded clothing, which goes to show just how “passionately chosen” every piece was. Kilby and Jennifer truly love each and every piece of clothing, accessory, and home good that they have to offer.  Prices will be midrange, so as to appeal to loyal Half & Half clientele.

Half & Half will also feature a mini café where customers can stop in for a coffee or even an on-the-go salad, wrap, or snack from Fit and Fresh (from Buffalo!). The building where the shop resides will now be fully called “Half & Half” with the shop occupying one side, and Parkway Haircutting next door. The two businesses plan on working together on events in the future. The Bronsteins have also acquired the mortuary next door, which they would also like to revamp.

Overall, Kilby and Jennifer want to reinvest in Buffalo. They want to contribute to the revitalization of the area that started a few years ago, and based on what has already been accomplished and future plans, they most definitely will. Congratulations to them!

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