Mimis carries on the Serendipity legacy in Marion

Mar 30, 2021

MARION — A new gift shop has sprung up at the old home of Serendipity by the Sea.

Mimis, named after owner Jill Pittman’s grandmother, sells clothes, jewelry, art and other gifts.

The store opened on March 27, three months after Serendipity closed at the end of 2020.

“This is a dream come true,” Pittman said.

Pittman said she’s known Cecily Balboni, who owned Serendipity, for years, and when it came time to rent out the storefront, Balboni chose Pittman over three others vying for the Front Street space.

“It’s been everything,” Pittman said. “People my age remember it as a coffee shop named Jenkins.”

Pittman said she wanted to keep the store “as local as possible” with art from Tri-Town artists, local honey, and local jewelry.

“Because I’m a beekeeper, I had to have honey,” Pittman said.

She said that her love of shopping helps her find just the right inventory for the store.

“It’s all about local sustainability,” Pittman said.

When looking for clothes to sell in the shop, Pittman said she tried to find things “that satisfied the women of Tabor and the women of the community.”

But putting the store together while paying respect to Serendipity’s legacy amid the pandemic had its challenges.

“I wanted to keep it the same as Cecily — as Serendipity,” Pittman said.

Pittman said getting inventory shipped to the storefront in the pandemic was “really tough.”

“You can buy anything you want,” she said. “It’s just getting it into the shop that’s the hard part.”

In addition to Mimis’ opening, the connected Sea Dips ice cream shop will open sometime in April, and will operate as normal. Pittman added that the shop will be able to provide in-store service as well.

With Mimis, Pittman said she “wanted to respect what Serendipity did.”

But she said she likes to think she’s doing something “slightly different” with the space, attempting to provide a more open feel in the store.

Pittman said the reason the store’s name lacks an apostrophe is to help convey a welcoming feeling.

“It’s a feeling, not a possession,” she said.