14 Jul Everything’s Coming Up Retail
by Breanne Durham, Beautiful Downtown Lewiston
During the early stages of downtown revitalization, many communities struggle to build a strong retail base. The stores that many community members still remember from their youth – the drugstores and departments stores – have gone by the wayside. In downtown Lewiston, we are lucky to have a handful of strong local businesses, like The Diamond Shop and Sylvan Furniture, that have adapted and grown with the changing consumer habits.
Over the last five years, as downtown Lewiston has received new energy through public and private improvements and an established Main Street program (BDL), we have seen local restaurants and the arts community establish roots and flourish here. These industries are commonly the forerunners of commercial district revitalization, with retail stores following as consumer confidence in the downtown grows. With this “big picture” perspective in mind, Beautiful Downtown Lewiston is especially excited to warmly welcome, celebrate, and encourage you to shop at these new locally-owned businesses!
Nicole Cady has long dreamed of being a professional wedding planner. So, when she saw that a downtown bridal store was for sale she called friend and former co-worker Desarae Starnes to propose that the two women go into business together.
The shop, located across the street from Brackenbury Square, has a new design, layout, and name: Downtown Chic. Desarae (pictured right) says that the location, near other wedding-related local businesses, is perfect for their new business. Nicole and Desarae say that the noticeable changes downtown, including community events and building renovations, are very encouraging. With a soft opening (grand opening planned for later this summer!) less than two weeks ago, they have already been surprised and delighted by the amount of business they have received as a result of foot traffic.
Downtown Chic sells wedding gowns, bridesmaids and prom dresses, casual and formal dresses (popular for special events like the Boys & Girls Club Auction), handmade jewelry, and will soon offer a home decor collection and consultation services. Prom dresses and wedding decor (such as linens, arches, and decor) are also available for rental. Nicole and Desarae say that if you don’t find what you’re looking for in their existing inventory they will order the dress for you. Business hours: Monday-Friday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM, and Saturdays 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM.
Joey Ford has a passion for fiber arts, and she loves sharing that passion with others. The new business owner is opening The Ewe & Me Shoppe in downtown Lewiston this summer. The shop will stock a variety of yarns and supplies for knitting, crochet, weaving and felting. Joey’s goal is to stock colors and textures that will “inspire and delight the local creative folk.”
The Ewe & Me Shoppe, named to portray community spirit and love of fiber arts, will be located upstairs at 524 Main Street, above Ridinger Photography. Joey is excited to jump into the entrepreneurship world, armed with her ability to analyze and solve business issues and a love of people. We’re very excited to welcome this unique local shop to the downtown business community!
“I really like the downtown area,” says Joey. “I like the feeling of being able to stroll down the sidewalk and pop into different shops. It’s beautiful and quaint.”
Stayed tuned for more information about the shop hours and grand opening celebration next month!
Husband and wife duo Brad and Erika Stricker make great business partners! Mary Even agreed, resulting in her sale of M&M Market to Brad and Erika last month. Brad, a regular customer of the local market, began considering the business after Mary shared with him that she was interested in retiring to spend more time with family. Brad, who has a background in working at grocery stores and with other retail customers, saw the opportunity to fulfill a dream of owning a business.
Brad and Erika are in the process of making some changes to the store, including renaming the business Main Street Market and updating storefront signage. They plan to expand grocery options, add tobacco products, decrease the antiques inventory, and introduce more local wine and microbrews. Expect a grand opening celebration later this summer, though the market IS open during the transition. Hours will also be extended.
“Downtown is thriving with new apartments and businesses coming in,” says Brad. Main Street Market’s target customers are those living and working downtown, as well as people who are downtown for special events.
Vicki Fountain (pictured in featured photo above) is the sole proprietor of an adorable new retail business called Plaid & Pearls. She started the shop in Uniontown, but quickly decided that she would benefit from increased foot traffic and low overhead in downtown Lewiston. “I love downtown,” says Vicki. “There are so many exciting things happening here, and I want to be part of it!”
The name “Plaid & Pearls” is representative of the shop’s style: rustic + elegant. The small shop is tastefully decorated with a wide range of home decor items and gifts, including jewelry, candles, and refurbished wall hangings. Vicki, who has a background in interior design, has done much of the decor refurbishing work herself. “I love fixing things up and making people excited about where they live!”
Vicki has started offering gift registry options for all occasions, including weddings, baby showers, birthdays, and retirement celebrations. She plans to soon expand her shop’s offerings by adding pastries (made by Chaps, out of Spokane), espresso, and a small seating area. Plaid & Pearls is open Thursday-Saturday, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM at 621 Main Street, Suite D (near the Zions Bank building and Covey’s Bike & Board).