Stories to Inspire and Encourage
Meet the people and small businesses behind the storefronts. Get to know them, hear their stories and learn how they found value in a brick-and-mortar space.
JUST DANDY BOUTIQUE • KINGSPORT, TN
Three years ago, when we opened our shop, we could only dream of one day having a storefront in the Fort Henry Mall and through the American Dream Project that dream came to fruition. We are proud to be one of the many small businesses already located in the mall and are excited to see the commitment towards furthering the economic growth of our beloved community.
Owners Courtney and Tandy started Just Dandy in 2016 online to offer fun, comfortable and affordable clothing flattering to women of all sizes, small to 3XL. Wanting to provide customers with a shopping experience, they opened their first storefront in 2017 and just a year later expanded into a bigger space.
In 2019 they were selected as the winner of Kingsport’s Next Great Pop-Up Shop. The timing was perfect as their current lease was ending and the owners felt they needed to make a change to continue growing. The pop-up shop was an opportunity to try something new in a Mall location where the boutique would have exposure to new customers.
They put together a beautiful storefront that provided women with a comfortable and welcoming shopping experience. The store was well planned with areas organized by size and each size fully merchandised with new arrivals weekly. Fun accessories were mixed throughout the store and a lounge area was added outside the dressing room.
After six weeks and seeing traffic and sales exceed expectations, Just Dandy signed a lease to continue operating in their space.
DIVINE BOUTIQUE • DANVILLE, VA
Started by LaKeisha DeShazor in 2013, Divine Boutique is an upscale boutique offering stylish apparel and fashion accessories for women of all sizes. The boutique focuses on dressing women size 2-28 who love style and fashion but also value modesty.
In 2019, LaKeisha applied for Danville’s Next Great Pop-Up Shop. Although, Divine Boutique’s current location was just over a mile away from the pop-up in the Danville Mall, the visibility and traffic of a Mall shop was intriguing. Ultimately, LaKeisha vision for how to transform the space into an upscale boutique secured her as the winner.
The pop-up was double Divine Boutique’s original size but LaKeisha made it a priority to fill the space with well-stocked merchandise and added decorative accents to provide pops of color and sparkle. She took great care in merchandising the glass storefront to draw customers in.
LaKeisha put together a fun grand opening event and the pop-up shop opened to large crowds. Throughout the term, more customers got to know Divine Boutique and existing customers enjoyed the new location. And, in January 2020 Divine Boutique signed a lease to continue operating in the Danville Mall.
I’m beyond grateful for this opportunity to introduce Divine Boutique on a larger platform. Being in the mall is a chance for my small business to get the leverage needed to succeed. Wow, what a great opportunity we’ve been given. Thank you God, Hull Property Group and Danville Mall for believing in my dream!”