A new small business hub is now open in Plaza Midwood, adding an alternative local shopping destination to the busy Central Avenue corridor.
Charlotte Collective, located at 1222 Central Ave., features a number a retailers selling everything from candles to cacti under one roof.
It’s a smart move for business owners who may not have the resources or the desire to manage an entire storefront on their own. At Charlotte Collective, small pop-up and e-commerce businesses have an opportunity to try their hand at a brick-and-mortar operation in a highly trafficked area without the risk and financial burden of opening a solo store.
But it’s not a permanent location just yet. Charlotte Collective picked up the last two months of the previous tenant’s lease and is in a trial period of sorts through August. If you like the idea of local retail here versus something like, say, a chain restaurant, you should vote with your dollars for the next 60 days.
Amy Crowe, owner of Worthy Figures, a personal styling service and clothing boutique for women sizes 12 and up, spearheaded the initiative when she saw a need for a collaborative small business incubator specifically for retailers and creatives in Charlotte.
We have startup tech hubs like Packard Place, multi-vendor food markets like 7th Street Public Market and Optimist Hall (opening later this summer) and even a fitness incubator at Fit Atelier, but fewer opportunities for small retailers to find their footing in the crowded commercial real estate space.
A robust lineup of retail events like Girl Tribe Pop Up, Vintage Charlotte and Uptown Flea provide temporary pop-up opportunities that have proven successful for many vendors but options for longer-term store presence is limited.
“Realtors almost refuse to take a chance on small businesses,” Crowe said.
But together they’re able to pool resources, split rent and manage the store in shifts. It’s a collaborative effort.
Charlotte Collective currently features 16 brands with a diverse but cohesive selection of inventory including clothing, accessories, home goods and more.
Charlotte Collective brands include:
Feminist Goods Co. – Clothing and accessories that celebrate core feminist values available in sizes small to XXXL
Glory Days Apparel – Playful nostalgia brand creating vintage-inspired designs celebrating Charlotte sports, neighborhoods and culture
Golden Reeds – Ethically sourced rattan bags handmade in Bali
Janet Gwen Designs – Sleek marble cases for laptops, iPads, iPhones and accessories
L.A. Suds – Responsibly sourced, cruelty-free bath bombs, soaps, scrubs and more
Pretty Honest Candles – High-quality candles made with slow-burn soy wax, phthalate-free fragrance oils and 100 percent cotton wicks
Rachel Tenny – Artist and therapist empowering female creatives to prioritize their mental health
Shani Amara – Playful, eye-catching, affordable jewelry
Tayflower – Floral design, plantscaping and custom terrariums
The Alley Way Market – Jewelry, tees and handmade goods for people with a sense of humor
Winnie’s Boutique – Women’s apparel and accessories
Worthy + Badass – Apparel, jewelry and accessories designed to encourage, empower and enlighten women
Worthy Figures – Boutique clothing and personal styling services for women sizes 12 and up
The Cactus Club – Mobile plant shop offering a variety of cacti, tropical house plants, planters and more
Cosmic Creativ – Hand-poured geode accent cutting boards
Elise Design Company – Geometrically inspired jewelry
A grand opening celebration is planned for this Saturday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday.