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Life is good opens on Main Street

By Christy Song, Daily Staff Reporter
Published March 16, 2014

Optimists rejoice.

Life is good has opened its latest retail location in Ann Arbor.

The store opened its doors March 9 and hosted its grand opening Saturday and Sunday, which featured Michigan-related Life is good gear, free giveaways and a 20 percent discount off of a purchase of $50 or more.

The retail store took the place of Seyfried Jewelers, located at 304 S. Main Street, after six and a half weeks of renovation.

The store occupies 1,000 square feet and features Life is good products from T-shirts to shorts to water bottles. The Black Pearl, the next door seafood and martini bar, will use the back room of the store for private events.

Store owner Mark Messmore, a School of Education alum, said that he decided to open the shop because the brand is well suited for Ann Arbor shoppers.

Life is good is noted for its grinning mascot, Jake. Messmore said the brand was traditionally a resort-town mainstay. The company is based in Massachusetts and has 4,500 retail stores nationwide, all privately owned.

“They are sort of turning the brand in a new direction and it’s more toward college campuses, toward the younger professional look,” Messmore said. “It still caters to the outdoor activist type person. It’s the right kind of mix and it goes really well with the Ann Arbor crowd.”

Messmore said Main Street is an ideal location for the store due to the foot traffic in the area. When guests are waiting for their reservations at nearby restaurants, Messmore said he anticipates they will peruse local shops like his own in the meantime.

Messmore does not anticipate competition from nearby stores like Moosejaw. He said Life is good products are unique and complimentary to their products.

Messmore said his ultimate goal is to provide a personal, general neighborhood shop where customers can get the full Life is good experience.

“I think as this brand grows and repositions itself to maintain its loyalty to tried and true but also turn to a younger crowd,” Messmore said. “This store is a pivot point for the brand and I think that it will lend itself really well to the people here.”

Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from on Fridays and Saturdays.