French Hen Moves to Chester One of our favorite haunts in Essex for cheap and cheerful baubles, kooky cards and just the right gift, has spread its wings in new digs in Chester. You’ll find Laurie McGinley’s curated assortment of giftables at great price points, plus a loftlike interior, so much better suited to displaying her French-accented finds. Visit French Hen’s Facebook Page Elle Design I’ve been a big fan of owner Erica Edwards’ interior style since her opening in Chester in 2010. She was one of the first designers around here who steadfastly stuck to modern. Her shop is a refreshing respite to typical Connecticut preppy style. During the bridge construction in Chester, she wisely took the time to renovate her spot at the bend in the road, and now it’s a welcome oasis of chic gifts (mainly from Brooklyn), home decor finds (crazy for the hypoallergenic, machine washable vinyl rugs), her own lamp and furniture designs (many executed by her able husband), and a home for her burgeoning interior design business. Head over on Sundays from 10 to 1 during the Chester Market for Meet the Maker events, highlighting up and coming designers. Oh, and don’t forget to traipse downstairs for a peek at her vintage modern finds…. elledesignstudio.net Head to Chester for First Fridays: gallery openings, trunk shows, live music and more in the shops, restaurants and galleries of Chester, on the first Friday evening of every month.