By Megan Pennefather

OK, so the 1970s had Watergate and Gary Glitter, but don't write it off entirely.

The decade also gave rise to David Bowie and Queen, and what about your trusty old pet rock?

The 1970s had its virtues, most of which are on display in vivid color at the new Royal Oak store, Bohemian Rhapsody.

Co-owners Pam McLenon of Farmington Hills and Marianne Petrus of Royal Oak opened the unique boutique Nov. 8 with the goal of offering accessories, home decor, personal care products and art that's heavy on kitschy fun and low on price. Pick up a funky pillow and some handmade soap or some jewelry, a Superball and a Russian nesting doll. Like the 1970s itself, it's a potpourri of colors, tastes and moods.

The women own their own side businesses as well: Petrus started Girls in the Studio with Angie Yaldoo; McLenon owns the Forever Mick and Keith line of greeting cards and art. Many of those items are for sale in the store.

McLenon and Petrus talked to the Mirror last week about their new business endeavor.
Far out.

Mirror: Tell us about your store.

McLenon: It's got a '70s feel. We liked the things we grew up with. It's reminiscent of our childhood growing up in the '70s. ... I think the store has a real bohemian, gypsy feel. It's a rhapsody of bohemian and modern styles. We have a mix of everything. ... We carry name brands like Marimekko. We also carry Jonathan Adler and Pacifica (brands).
Mirror: Why the 1970s?

Petrus: I just remember a real happy time. Cool music. Everything was bright and really colorful.

McLenon: I think we stay true to that. Everybody when they come in here says it really makes them smile. And that was one of our goals in putting this together, to make people feel good.
Mirror: What will customers find when they come to Bohemian Rhapsody?

Petrus: What they can expect from shopping here is really great price points. (There are items) to buy for under $20. We just really paid attention to detail. We're ever-changing.
Mirror: Why open a business in this tough economy?

McLenon: We've been talking about this for a couple years. We just really had a dream and no matter what, we were going to do it.

Petrus: We really wanted change within ourselves.

McLenon: It was really challenging in this economy, but they say, "No guts, no glory." We just had to take the chance. ... (The bad economy) makes you have to be on top of everything as far as customer service and what you're carrying.

Mirror: Are you thinking ahead yet?

Petrus: We're hoping to take it online at some point and maybe franchise it sometime in the future.

Mirror: So how much of the store is modeled after your old bedroom?

Petrus: I think all of it, actually.

Bohemian Rhapsody is at 110 W. Fourth St. in downtown Royal Oak. Holiday hours are noon to 5 p.m. Sundays; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, call (248) 336-2260.


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