Berwyn Stores Add Color Ahead of Opening Day in June – Shaw Local
As the days count until the opening of the new Berwyn Shops: A Homegrown Project, new retailers have joined Berwyn residents and city staff in adding color to the stores that will house 12 temporary businesses this summer .
Volunteers rolled up their sleeves for Paint Day on April 16, adding fresh coats of colorful paint to the 12 small cottage-style buildings at 6931 Roosevelt Road. Berwyn Shops is an incubator project, inspiring small business owners to have their own retail space for their products and services while adding new vibrancy to the Roosevelt shopping corridor.
Kendra Shaw, project manager of economic development and planning services for the Berwyn Development Corporation, said she continues to be impressed with local support and interest in what will serve as a business incubator for local businesses.
“Everyone is super excited,” Shaw said.
The 12 businesses to be featured in Berwyn Shops’ inaugural year were selected by a team of volunteers, including residents and local business owners. Shaw said he received 30 applications for the 12 opportunities. These applications, which included store information and business plans, were reviewed before narrowing down to the 20 finalists who had the opportunity to appear before the 13-person review team in a presentation of “Shark Tank” style with questions.
The 12 businesses selected include two bakeries – including one specializing in vegan treats – a pet accessories store, a jewelry store and a florist who makes balloon arches and party decorations.
“I’m really impressed with the wide variety of products that will be on offer,” Shaw said.
The 12 companies selected include cosmetics company Date Nite Beauté; Flores by Alba, a small Latin flower bouquet and balloon arrangement company; Juicey Gems Jewelry; K Shulada, offering handmade clothing and accessories from Mexico and Latin America; Los Amigos Books, offering bilingual and Spanish books; Green makramé with handmade decoration; Poocha Pets, a Chicago-area Mexican pet clothing, food and accessory store; Ritual Theory offering candles and holistic bath products; So Soft Beauty, a line of eco-friendly skincare products and more; Sofia and Valentina with handmade jewelry and clothing; Sugar Sweet Dreams cakes, pastries and desserts; and The Vulgar Vegan Cupcakes.
As the physical transformation of the site continues, these budding entrepreneurs meet with members of the Women’s Business Development Center to work on the financial aspects, including using software to run their businesses. By the end of April, each business will have access to their space and can begin adding their personal touch and display space, Shaw said.
Opening day is set for June 3 and stores will be open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December.
Shaw said there’s been incredible support from the community, from those who donated their time to paint to a local design firm who helped with the interior design and from another resident who loaned time and materials to help with flooring.
“So many people want to be involved,” Shaw said.
Paint Day was supported by Sherwin Williams, who provided paint, supplies and sent his staff to help, Shaw said.
The community can follow the progress of Berwyn stores on its website, as well as its social media pages on Facebook and Instagram.