A group of local women have joined forces to open new businesses on Beacon Avenue in Sidney — and they hope that their hard work will attract like-minded people.
On Saturday, Dec. 13 Upstairs on Beacon officially opened its doors at 2405 Beacon Ave. It’s the umbrella organization covering six businesses owned by the women.
Cheryl Young, the spokesperson for Upstairs on Beacon, says if it wasn’t for the group’s willingness to work together and cooperate, most of them probably would not have been able to open up shop.
“Opening up a business is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Young said in her shop, Norma Jean’s Closet. “This was the one way I could afford to do it at all.”
Young said the women all met through the Sidney Meet Up group, a networking organization that regularly gathers in social settings to discuss anything — including business. From that connection, Young said they found others and initially tried their hand at a summer market this year. That didn’t last, but the group’s desire to stay in business remained.
From that initial foray into the local marketplace, Young said they decided to open their six shops upstairs in the Odyssia building at the corner of Beacon and Fifth Street.
In addition to Young’s Norma Jean’s Closet (and its eclectic collection of Marilyn Monroe-inspired goods), there’s Nancy’s Sew Creative, Fashion Hats, NuttyCake Photography, Glamour Girls Vintage and Lady O Tarot Reading. They share the space with Sidney Taxi’s main office. Young added the local operator of Welcome Wagon should be coming upstairs any day now.
“We’re a good group because we are a hands-on group,” Young said.
The owners have been working hard to get their spaces ready for the official opening — complete with Town Crier Kenny Podmore and Sidney Mayor Steve Price there to cut the ribbon.
Young said they have had a soft opening already and the key is to get the word out that they are there.
This collective retail development helps each other.
By putting in some sweat equity, they share the spaces and save on rent — in a town where high rents have been noted as potential detriments to small business.
“It’s a no-brainer. It’s a numbers game,” said Stephanie Solyon, owner of Glamour Girls Vintage in a media handout. “On top of that, the like-minded entrepreneurs benefit from being able to learn from one another and take on marketing as a collective effort.”
The Upstairs on Beacon series of shops will be open 12 to 5 p.m. daily.
To learn more, visit www.upstairsonbeacon.com.