LITTLE CHUTE, Wisconsin (WBAY) – After sitting empty for well over a year, the Main Street Plaza in downtown Little Chute is bustling with activity again. And that’s thanks in large part to five new business owners — all women.
This week in Small Towns, a closer look at their unique bond and a huge leap of faith.
Rachel Fowler fulfills a dream that began as a child.
“My mom, I was begging to learn to sew when I was four, so she sat me in my little yellow booster seat and taught me how to sew X onto white fabric with red thread and right there on the bottom part of the stack is my red, white and blue quilt that I made when I was about 14-15,” says Rachel.
When Rachel learned there was space in this small mall-like building, she made the decision and launched Rachel Ann Quilts in October.
“I fell in love with this one the minute I walked in, I saw I had all these beautiful windows and I had space for a massive editing table, had office space, storage space and it was a great opportunity,” says Rachel. So did Megan Beyer, who opened a boutique called Creative Simplicity that same day. “The dream came true, absolutely,” Megan says with a smile.
And right next door, Sue Spiering’s promotional marketing business is no longer run from home.
“We’re here for the long haul,” says Sue. A lawn care and snow plow shop and a photography shop add up to five new women-owned and operated businesses, all of which have opened within the last two months.
“To think that there are so many other women in the same boat just trying to start a business that can support their family and share something they’re passionate about, something they love to do,” says Rachel .
“We all have a creative niche, we all make our own stuff, but we bring creativity to what’s happening in this building,” Megan adds.
Once home to a shoe store and bakery for decades, every lady has given her new space a major facelift before opening, thanks to a government grant that funds new start-ups in vacant commercial space. These new business neighbors already show great appreciation and gratitude.
“Being alone in the business for the first time, there’s no committee, there’s no Monday morning meeting, right, you don’t have anyone to share ideas with, but I feel like the women in the building are just doing a really great.” have support. how we can exchange ideas, well what do you think and hey there’s this activity going what would you do and so it’s sort of like our own little staff get together if you guys are willing to support each other,” says Megan .
“Although each of our businesses is very different, these differences allow us to work together, share ideas and help each other see things from a different perspective,” adds Rachel.
“We help each other a lot, we look out for each other, we cheer each other on, so it’s just exciting to see,” says Sue. As is supporting a community excited to see their downtown area come alive. “Wonderful, we had a couple of open houses that really supported us as our customers and community came to us and welcomed us,” says Sue.
“The feeling is absolutely friendly, whether they need something from us or not, they’re just so happy to see businesses on their Main Street that there are no vacancies,” explains Megan.
“It just seems like a small community that takes care of itself and supports itself and grows and thrives,” adds Rachel.
The new business owners at Main Street Plaza are not only grateful for the community’s support, but hope they can inspire others to breathe new life into their communities.
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