Everybody’s business: Local commerce growing in Athens-Limestone

An excellent signal of a thriving neighborhood is profitable commerce. Significantly, wholesome small and domestically owned companies level to progress and a wholesome, comfortable neighborhood.

In Athens, it’s exhausting to drive greater than a mile earlier than operating into a neighborhood enterprise. Some are small and nonetheless looking for their fame and footing within the space whereas others have turn out to be staples locally and are established sufficient to have branched into second and third areas — to not point out a couple of crossing county traces.

Greater than only a signal of a neighborhood’s exercise and happiness, native companies are invaluable of their returned financial help to the neighborhood, based on the Limestone County Financial Improvement Affiliation.

“Native companies are crucial to the general vitality of our neighborhood. These companies have a optimistic impression on our high quality of life due to their capital investments and jobs that improve the native tax base,” LCEDA President Bethany Shockney mentioned.

The companies’ help of the Athens-Limestone financial system is significant for our neighborhood, however the clients’ help of native companies makes a big impact on the expansion and lives of our native enterprise homeowners.

These native companies need to sustain with their backside line however extra importantly, they’re working to create the most effective product and experiences for his or her clients.

Flirty Flame Candle Co. LLC
Sherry Jefferson, proprietor of Flirty Flame Candle Co. LLC, smells certainly one of her candles.

“My motto is ‘Self care is our love language,’” Flirty Flame Candle Co LLC proprietor Sherry Jefferson mentioned. “I’ve to enhance on ‘me’ so I can enhance the expertise of others.”

Jefferson goes on to debate how she loves creating experiences for folks and hopes to someday have an area the place she will host teams of consumers for occasions.

Flirty Flame Candle Co. LLC products
Flirty Flame Candle Co. LLC supplies a number of aromatherapy merchandise.

“My final aim is to have a Candle Bar the place folks might are available and make a candle, sip some wine or different drinks, and luxuriate in a easy women night time, have a bit enjoyable, and have one thing to take house to recollect their particular occasions.”

Phillip Presley
Phillip Presley, one of many three homeowners of Athens Pharmacy.

Phillip Presley, one of many homeowners of Athens Pharmacy, is disillusioned within the strained relationship between insurance coverage firms and native pharmacies however eager for Athens Pharmacy’s future due to the dedication of their neighborhood members.

“We’re tremendous blessed and grateful for all our clients which have stayed with us for years and years and years. We now have folks, it nearly looks like each day, are available and say ‘My insurance coverage is attempting to make me go some other place, however I’m not going anyplace else. and we recognize that, as a result of we’re right here due to our clients. We care about them and wish to maintain each certainly one of them.”

Being current and persevering with to make connections locally can be an enormous aim for our enterprise homeowners. For Athens Pharmacy, that appears like being a welcoming “voice on the cellphone” when the neighborhood calls. For different companies this appears to be like like increasing companies and assembly the neighborhood the place they’re at.

Michelle Crawford
Michelle Crawford, proprietor of Driftwood Dragonfly.

At Driftwood Dragonfly, proprietor Michelle Crawford desires to proceed to extend her enterprise’s progress by branching out outdoors of the shop, similar to connecting with neighborhood members on the farmer’s market.

With the way in which know-how is rising, the Athens-Limestone purchasing panorama can be shifting to a level. There are, in fact, storefronts that proceed to supply the normal nose to nose expertise, however fortunately the neighborhood additionally has enterprise homeowners which can be utilizing know-how to their benefit.

Whereas just lately opening a show within Athens Florist has helped her enterprise, Flirty Flame Candle Co. LLC originated as a strictly on-line and social media presence, however Jefferson believes that she just isn’t lacking out by not having a storefront to herself.

“Having a web based retailer and social media presence, I don’t really feel like I’m lacking out on a complete lot. Individuals have entry to me and the enterprise every time and wherever they should proper now. … I donate to worthy charities and causes and am getting the title and model on the market. Individuals attain out to me on a regular basis, so I don’t really feel like I’m dropping out on quite a bit, however I’m nonetheless new to this so we’ll see.”

Driftwood Dragonfly desires to proceed to extend their progress by branching out into issues similar to e-commerce and subscription bins, based on Crawford. Retailer worker Pleasure Rilling provides that they wish to concentrate on their teas, particularly their “Wellness Blends, giving extra folks the wholesome help of herbs in all areas of their lives.”

Athens Pharmacy
An worker palms a buyer’s treatment out the drive via window at Athens Pharmacy.

Native enterprise is an ecosystem. Prospects help companies, companies present for purchasers and help neighborhood, and neighborhood creates a protected house for purchasers to develop relationships and proceed supporting companies. As Presley mentioned, our native companies are right here due to the “native folks, and we’re going to be right here longer due to them, and we simply can’t be appreciative sufficient for the blessing that’s.”

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