Flat Top Studios and the Hidden Talents of Albion

Meet Betty Chlystek, a hidden gem in town who is doing some truly amazing work. Ms. Chlystek is a professional theatrical costumer with extensive experience fabricating costumes for notable performing arts organizations and the film and TV industries.  As a theatrical costumer, Ms. Chlystek has worked in many major cities across the country as well as in Shenzhen, China and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  She and her associates have most recently created tailored costumes for Santa Fe Opera’s production of “Tosca” and flight suits for NASA astronauts working with Axiom Space missions. Looking at Flat Top Studios, you may not believe that is all happening here.

Ms. Chlystek is a Homer native and Albion College Alum who was based in New York City, Boston, New Haven, Connecticut and Austin, Texas over the past 40 years. But having grown up here and realizing a few years ago that Albion was reinventing itself, Ms. Chlystek started to feel a strong pull to come home. She shared with me that she could feel “things are happening in Albion” and wanted to be a part of it. She fell in love with the friendliness and welcoming atmosphere that the people of Albion bring.

Ever since Ms. Chlystek was a child she was intrigued with the old eye doctor’s office on West Erie Street. She admired its unique architecture and mid-century feel. About 3 years ago, through a lot of luck and good fortune, Ms. Chlystek bought that building and is now turning it into Flat Top Studios. Her goal and vision for the building is to create a welcoming, collaborative space for creative professionals beyond her own studio for costume production. Upon its completion sometime next year, Flat Top will have private offices for lease to tenants who desire a workspace with additional amenities, such as a kitchenette with dishwasher, comfortable lounge/meeting area and well-equipped fitness center. Ms. Chlystek would also like Flat Top Studios to become a space where artists and artisans can show their work, gather, and share artistic interests. Flat Top is creating a fun new spin on an old office by creating professional workspaces that possess “all the comforts of home without the distractions.”