Drew Johnson and his friend Jordan harbored a secret dream to own a thrift shop from the earliest years of their friendship, as far back as middle school. They schemed for years, and when a space opened in the heart of the community where they both grew up, they didn’t hesitate. The duo opened Urban Thrift, stocking it with recycled and reusable clothing, jewelry, appliances, and furniture.
Though they keep it spotlessly clean, Drew and Jordan still celebrate the raw, urban feel of their space. “Our dressing room utilizes cinder blocks and gas piping, our ceiling is exposed, our floor is unfinished concrete, and that’s how we like it,” said Drew. They don’t forget the community that fostered them and their dream, either, giving donations to local churches and school clubs.
At Vada Spa, staff members devote their international training to beauty rituals that use natural and organic products from GM Collins and Pevonia Botanica. Two floors accommodate spacious mani-pedi bars, styling stations, and private, candle-lit treatment rooms that all swirl with activity until 9 p.m. every day. The owners of the Spa make sure that each service is administered by a true specialist––laser technicians only do laser procedures and aestheticians never hand over their facial duties to an assistant or nearby welder. "We're very particular about who we hire," one of the spa owners says. "It has to be someone who's experienced. We don't have anyone here who's just starting out or fresh out of school."
Since their mission is to be a one-stop destination for head-to-toe spa services, Vada's owners do their best to reserve hairstyling chairs and treatment rooms for walk-in customers. They also pride themselves on their expertise with the male aesthetic, offering a lineup of guy-specific spa services including back facials, shoulder waxing, and spare-tire rotations.
Roseann Wilson, owner of Fabric Rows Design House, fills her store with designer fabric from Waverly, Laura Ashley, and Ralph Lauren available at wholesale prices. After a lamp-design consultation ($45), store designers devise custom table or floor lamps from clients' vases, pottery, glassware, and spun sugar busts of Mary Tyler Moore. Lighting wizards can also update an antique or vintage lamp ($18), replace a broken socket ($18), or perform a complete rewiring ($26.99). In addition, clients may opt to have couches and chairs reupholstered with store fabric available by the yard or a velvet tracksuit torn from a defeated rival. Soft lighting brightens the intimate store space, and a gallery of past work adorns the walls for crafty customers to peruse for inspiration.