With the construction complete we opened our second retail location and natural spa in late September of 2018. I hired Ali as part of our retail crew, that holiday season was full of hope and excitement. We expanded our offerings and finally found stabilization, but as it would turn out, this was unfortunately short lived.
Right after our grand opening I was notified that our downtown location was going to be indefinitely disrupted by fall of 2019. That next morning in late November, I was walking downtown to open our shop and noticed that a large retail shop next to the Windsor Hotel vanished overnight. The place was empty, and they were permanently closed. I immediately called the leasing agent and had a Letter of Intent sent in by the next day.
The building was owned by the new owners of our current downtown shop, but the agent had to fight hard for us to be a contender.
At the time we were paying under market rent for our month-to-month location and just opened a shop in a new district in Asheville. The brand did not appear to be in the best position to take on a much higher rent and to up-fit another building especially since we just did that less than a year prior.
The agent worked tirelessly to make sure our voice was heard and in January of 2019, we had a permanent lease for a new downtown shop. To me, this new location was magical. It was located across the street from our original shop and just felt like a warm hug. I learned so much during our Biltmore Village up-fit that I was able to apply it to this new project.
Construction for our 34 Broadway Street started in April and completed in early August. The transition from 15A to 34 Broadway was seamless. We set up and moved all we could leading up to the big day. Everything was in place except for products on the shelves and the cash registers.
We closed the doors to our beloved 15A on August 8th and opened them at 34 Broadway on the 9th. The day was pure bliss. Everything about this new downtown location was easy and fell into place. It was like the universe really came together when we needed it the most.
This re-emergence happened at the same time our products debuted in all the suites at Hotel Arras, the most beautiful upscale hotel that supports local brands. The collaboration was 4 years in the making and to this day I am so incredibly grateful for this partnership.
For the rest of 2019 we grew our crew to support the two locations and rallied through the holidays with so much excitement for what 2020 was going to bring.
Read Part 5 of our Six Part Series here.