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Business beat: Vintage vibes, modern twist found downtown at Chizonaka in Williams
Discover one-of-a-kind treasures at Williams' newest boutique

Sarah Ruth and Rianna Nicole are the owners of Chizonaka in Williams.  (Summer Serino/WGCN)

Sarah Ruth and Rianna Nicole are the owners of Chizonaka in Williams. (Summer Serino/WGCN)

WILLIAMS, Ariz. — Williams fashion enthusiasts now have a new shopping destination with the recent opening of Chizonaka, a vintage boutique offering an array of handmade products.

The new store opened April 15 and offers visitors a variety of designer clothes, purses, jewelry and much more.

The store's name, Chizonaka, is a fusion of the names of three different locations: Chicago, Arizona and Alaska (pronounced as Shy-Zone-E-Ka). Sarah Ruth, one of the co-owners, hails from Chicago but later relocated to Arizona where she met her business partner, Rianna Nicole. Together, their shared vision includes opening a store in Alaska.

Currently, the Williams store is the sole Chizonaka location, but the owners are optimistic about expanding the business through franchising.

Having grown up in Chicago with a mother who worked as a school teacher, Ruth developed a knack for finding good deals while still managing to dress stylishly.

“We became experts in thrifting, experts in finding what we needed to find, whether it's jewelry or antiques or vintage stuff,” Ruth said. “And so my mom and my grandmother actually taught me a lot of that.”

After moving to Arizona, Ruth met Nicole who was born and raised in Williams. The pair hit it off instantly.

“It was magic,” Ruth said. “We really clicked.”

After undergoing a hysterectomy in January, Ruth's life took a turn. Prior to the procedure, she had been grappling with a range of health issues, and basic daily tasks had become overwhelming. However, after the surgery, she felt an immense sense of relief, as if a tremendous weight had been lifted off her shoulders. With newfound energy and a renewed sense of purpose, Ruth began exploring new hobbies, including perusing online auctions and attending estate sales, where she discovered a natural talent for spotting unique finds.

As Ruth focused on her recovery, she began to realize the importance of having a creative outlet. As someone who has always identified as an artist, she knew she wanted to do something to express her creativity. The idea for Chizonaka began to take shape as Ruth experimented with different vintage pieces, experimenting with ways to incorporate her own artistic touch. What began as a personal project soon blossomed into a full-fledged business venture, with Ruth teaming up with Nicole to bring Chizonaka to life.

“It was the most life changing thing that happened for me,” said Ruth. “I'd never had that much time to just heal. So I did. And I started to realize that I needed a creative outlet. I consider myself to be an artist at heart.”

Already receiving lots of love for the community already, Ruth and Nicole are looking forward to their May 27 grand opening. The event will feature a variety of fun activities, including tarot card readings. All are welcome to attend.

“It’s going to be a huge party,” Nicole said.

For added convenience and enjoyment, visitors are welcome to bring their drinks over from the adjacent Canyon Club, as the liquor license applies to the entire building.

During the grand opening, visitors will have the opportunity to peruse the store's impressive collection of upcycled and recycled products, as well as locally made jewelry, lotions and other unique items crafted by talented, local artists.

Chizonaka is always looking to expand its selection of locally sourced goods, and welcomes artists interested in featuring their products to reach out to the store directly.

Along with local-made items, Ruth and Nicole source their inventory from estate sales and auctions from all around the world.

“And I upcycle like, Louis Vuitton bags. I take the ones that look like they could go in the trash, and I restore them,” said Ruth.

As a gesture of gratitude towards the residents of Williams, Chizonaka is proud to offer a discount exclusively to local residents.

“We do want people to know that we're trying to take care of our locals, which means we always have 25 percent off the sticker price for anyone local,” said Ruth.

To learn more about Chizonaka, go to chizonaka.com.

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