2006-12-07 / News

Pas de Chat open for the holiday season

By Michaela Kennedy

Jody Ziegler and Dale Rocha Jody Ziegler and Dale Rocha A new shop, Pas de Chat, has pawed its way onto the retail scene at 16 Narragansett Avenue. Last week, Owners Dale Rocha and Jody Ziegler officially opened the doors to their store, which features, among other amenities, a mini spa offering "nice things for busy women" on site at the Cathryn Jamieson Salon.

Nurturing books, art cards, music CDs, and a mélange of other specialties line the shelves at Pas de Chat, French for the "cat's paw." Rich textures of organic cottons and silks fill the front showcase. Flashy reading glasses peek out at patrons from under the counter. Celtic music floats through the rustic front room, and Rocha and Ziegler show how "very committed" they are to Jamestown. "We offer things to renew, inspire, help make lives warmer, more fun - especially for women who live here," says Ziegler. These ladies are not pussyfooting around with their wares.

Busy women themselves, the owners emphasize the aspect of creating not just a storefront, but a relaxing place to browse and share a story or two. Explaining the lighthearted approach to the business and how they thought up the name, Ziegler, a former dancer, notes, "We kept hitting on cats. They land on their feet."

Ziegler, who has lived here for over three years, says that Jamestown needs more retail shops "for the people who live here," not just the seasonal tourists. She talks about adding to the flavor of the village, not competing with it. As an example, she points across the street. "We are not in competition with Jamestown Designs. We are complementary to it," says Ziegler, adding that they are grateful for the welcoming support they have received from owner Debbie Swistak.

Ziegler gives credit for the operation to Rocha, whom she calls "the face" of the store. "I am just a silent partner," admits Ziegler, who is a full-time professor of visual arts at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester.

Standing with a bouquet of lavender in her hand, Rocha waves a hand of welcome to the back room and spa room. "We offer pedicures and other treatments here," she notes. Rocha has been offering her talents at the Cathryn Jamieson salon for the past three years, and the new storefront is an extension of her work and creative ideas.

Rocha runs upstairs to show the "tearoom," an intimate room available for workshops, meditations, or other small gatherings. She shares her hope to create a space for women to "come, relax, laugh, and be rejuvenated."

Appointments for the spa or inquiries regarding the tearoom can be made at the shop with Rocha.

The new store is barely open, but the owners see plans in the future that include a Web site and an expanded variety of gifts to sell. Ziegler, who does art consultation and brokering, is looking forward to featuring and selling original artwork done by local artists.

Most of all, the owners express their excitement in providing a fun spot that adds a new thread of strength to the island community.

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