Summer for me is usually when I start working on a new project. It seems to me there is more time to dream and scheme, the energy is so exciting that anything is possible. This summer with no wedding to focus on I felt the restlessness setting in. I had the same feeling about 3 years ago when I was working for another company before the days of Local Squirrel. I knew my then job wasn’t enough and I needed to pursue bigger. Fast forward to this May, and the ideas for expansion were all I could think about.
The opportunity came for us to move from our original storefront to next door and grow our business by a couple hundred square feet. It also meant a redesign for the interior, finally I could build the type of shelving and displays I knew our product needed. The first week of July we closed shop and moved to our new space- literally next door. If you haven’t made it over, come check it out, it truly feels like home.
One might think this move and expansion would fill the craving for “more” I was having but it didn’t. I still felt like there was something missing. I had been talking to several friends in the industry as well as just doing my own research on trends in retail and products. The top industries for growth right now are lifestyle, wellness, beauty, and baby/kids. We were checking the baby/kid box with the new addition of The Little Acorn Room at Local Squirrel. Beauty was already opening in Cameron Village with Aillea moving in. That left Lifestyle and Wellness. One thing I have always said about Local Squirrel is that we are so much more than a gift shop. Sure we have great gifts for friends and family but the concept behind the store runs deeper than perfect gift giving. We want to highlight excellence in our community with products from small makers who are killing it! We want to inspire and support them in more ways than just double tapping on our phones. We preach the stories of our products in the shop because we want you to connect to Jess from Headbands of Hope who is giving headbands to children with cancer in every single children’s hospital in America. I mean how can we not? Local Squirrel is doing exactly what it’s meant to and we see tons of new customers every day. Keep telling your friends, it’s working, y’all love the unique finds we offer and have changed how you shop for others.
Back next door in our old location, coming October, I will be opening GLOW Raleigh, an athleisure boutique… heavy on the leisure. We’ll carry everyday pieces you can live your life in, and offer inclusive sizing— extra small through extra large where we can. The vibe will be zen and refreshing, a light color pallet with sleek and minimal fixtures, allowing the clothes to really stand out. We’ve been sourcing products the last month, attending 2 totally different types of markets. First, Active Collective showcased the top athlesuire brands. We picked up lines like DYI, Terez, Onzie, Varley and Beyond Yoga just to name a few. Next we went to the Indie Beauty Expo hunting for the best in wellness. We found dermal patches that give energy or help you sleep depending on the patch, plant based nail polish, masks galore, and travel sized products, all that was before lunch! Mid September we’ll head back to New York for one last show, if you have a suggestion of something you want to see send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I keep saying We. I have brought on a full time employee, Janet St. Clair to help with GLOW. She’ll be in the store most days, and is a true expert in this field. She worked for Donna Karen as a designer in athleisure for many years. She is a talented stylist, seeing visuals, color, and texture more than anyone I know. She loves beautiful things yet has incredible depth. She’s helpful and kind, I know you all are going to love meeting and working with her. And don’t worry, you can still find me most days over at Local Squirrel scurrying around like the busy Squirrel Girl I am.
I’m so excited about this next phase and what it means for our community. The women who shop at GLOW are driven busy gals who strive to achieve their goals in life while attaining a beautiful glow both inside and out… they’re #Glow-Getters.