I could not be more excited to announce The Gemma Shop will become a brick and mortar store in July!!
The new space! 43 E College Ave
Obtaining a store has been a big focus this year to find a perfect space to take the business to the next level. The reactions to the pop up shops have been so huge, it seemed only natural to progress to a brick and mortar store.
At the beginning of the year, I found, what I thought, was the perfect space for the shop. It was a loft style space in downtown Columbus; nearly 4000 sq ft, my own parking garage and a public parking garage across the street. The space would have been used as a permanent pop up (people could shop whenever they want and I could hold fun shopping events here), photoshoot space for photography for the site, and office to operate the business out of of. It was a great price and the building had 3 other small businesses that functioned out of there as well. The space wouldn’t be available until April so we waited to sign a lease. THANK GOD we waited! I was supposed to sign the lease at the beginning of March and when I tried to meet up with the future landlord, I went into labor with my 3rd little baby, Vincent. When I got out of the hospital, I was trying to figure out another time to meet and sign the lease when I discovered the facebook page of one of the businesses that operated out of the building I was about to move into. It turned out, the building was recently reviewed by the city of Columbus and was SHUT DOWN for not having occupancy permits and other safety regulations in place! All of the businesses operating out of there had to leave the building immediately. YIKES!
So I was back on the hunt for a space and thankfully dodged a bullet! I decided downtown would not have been a good fit for me anyways. I looked at available retail spaces around the city and finally checked out a space in my hometown, Westerville. Uptown is a really cute part of Westerville with historic buildings and wonderful small businesses. We have had 3 amazing pop up shops with Meza Wine shop and knew the response from the Westerville community could be huge. I grew up here and I have really seen this area evolve. It initially had a ton of gift shops and antique stores when we moved here in the early 90s, to now having restaurants, bars and great shops. For several years, I was a waitress, cook, and anything else they needed at a family owned pizza shop that was a staple in Uptown, Pasquale’s Pizza. I worked there from my sophomore year in high school and throughout college when I would come home on breaks. I always felt really safe in Uptown and loved supporting the businesses there. As I got older and it was time to by our first home, we bought a cute little old yellow house right in Uptown. We loved it! We loved the community and having the ability to walk to our favorite local businesses and hang out on our front porch during community parades. As our family grew, we could not longer fit in our little yellow house so we moved to a bigger home but stayed in Westerville.
Our first home in Uptown Westerville
When the initial space fell a part, my mom mentioned a retail space for lease on E College and I didn’t really think much of it when she initially told me. Finally, I decided it can’t hurt to look so my husband and I peaked through the windows and really felt like this could be it!! We met with the landlords, did some negotiation, and I signed the lease last week!! EEK!
The store is located in a cute house on E College Ave. It’s right off of State St. where all the action is and it’s a stones throw away from Graeters Ice Cream and Jimmy V’s. It has its own little parking lot and cute patio on the back.
Shot of Uptown Westerville photo cred: Gary Gardiner
The first floor will be the entire retail space! I am so excited as this store will not function like your typical store. There will be a big focus on events and creating the excitement like our pop up shops have this past year. Girls night out, VIP shopping events, 1 on 1 shopping events, the list goes on!! The shop will also be open EVERY week from Thurs- Sunday! And don’t worry 9-5 working ladies, I’m not closing the place at 4pm during the week. It will be open until 7pm so you can swing by after work and not feel like the store is not accessible to you and your busy life!
Online shoppers, this business will continue to grow as well and has so much opportunity. One being lifestyle model photography! I have already locked in a great photographer and model and I can’t wait for our first photoshoot tomorrow! Make sure you are following Gemma on Instagram to see all the behind the scenes footage of our photoshoot! So much more to come that I’m sure you will love!
We are kicking off the opening of the business on Friday July 21st at 4pm with a ribbon cutting and big celebration throughout the weekend!! Swag bags, wine, live band and food trucks just to touch the surface! This is an exciting time for the business and I want to celebrate with all of YOU! More details to come as we get closer to the date! Thank you for supporting Gemma throughout this past year!! I can’t even tell you how much everything you do means to me from little things like sharing posts to wearing Gemma in your every day life! I love you all and can’t wait to continue to grow with you!