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New market houses businesses

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Kelly Finch puts foils in her customers hair Friday at Angela's Haven Salon and Fitness.

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By COREY DAVIS
Staff Writer

Monday, March 20, 2017

Jane Walker knew she had outgrown her space, while Angela Tolston was looking for another place for her salon.

The two local businesswomen are now running their separate businesses under one roof in a 6,000-square-foot building on 1000 N. Winstead Avenue. Walker is the owner of the Marketplace of Rocky Mount, which opened in February, while Holston, who has been in business for eight years, runs Angela’s Haven Salon and Fitness.

Holston said a couple large spaces are currently being renovated for a he fitness center, which is slated to open early next month consisting of different classes taught by fitness instructors.

“There will be no membership, and fitness is something that I’ve been into for the last five years,” Holston said. “We’re going to have classes on pilates, yoga and other types of fitness exercises.”

Walker said Holston’s clients coming by to either get their hair done at the shop or getting in a work out is also another way to draw customers to her area in the building.

“It has given me sort of a built-in customer base because her clients who are waiting to get their hair done or have finished are usually going to come to the back and shop for items,” Walker said.

Walker calls the Marketplace of Rocky Mount a “unique shopping experience,” with items and products from 21 different shop owners up for sale. Walker said the vendors range from people seasoned in this sort of business concept to people doing it for the first time.

“I’ve seen this sort of concept in Greenville, Raleigh and Charlotte and I thought it would work out in Rocky Mount,” Walker said.

Customers coming by the Marketplace of Rocky Mount have a wide variety of products to choose from, including antiques, painted furniture, clothes, decor and hand crafted items. To keep from having duplicate items, Walker has to approve them before they’re put out to be sold.

The Marketplace of Rocky Mount has a system on how items are sold and the shop owners are paid twice a month. Walker said the Marketplace of Rocky Mount also receives its percentage of the sales coming from the products sold.

Nonetheless, the ability to showcase and sell their products is an opportunity the shop owners didn’t have before, she said.

“You have people that work full-time jobs or people who are stay-at-home moms that wouldn’t have an opportunity to set up a store on their own because of overhead, so this is really good for them to set up to be able to dip their toe in the water a little bit of being an entrepreneur instead of going into it full blast,” Walker said.

In the store, Walker has a large selection of her “plain Jane” line of jewelry and customized products. Walker had been in business for three years before deciding she needed to expand her business into a larger space. 

She said it took three months and an immense amount of work to get the current building up to operational, which had been vacant for three years. Walker said she’s learned over the years how risky it is to be in business on your own.

However, she added the move has worked out so far and believe it will continue.

“With me being in business for a while, I’ve seen my sales fluctuate from year to year,” she said. “Actually, I did better three years ago than I did last year, but I can already see at this new location my sales are up and things are working out well. Our hope is we open store number two and expand in other areas.”

The Marketplace of Rocky Mount is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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