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How to Open A Business in A Pandemic

Well, we're here! As delighted as I am to open my dream bridal boutique, somehow opening in the middle of a Pandemic was never part of my dream. Nonetheless, it has been a wonderful experience taking 125 W Duffy St from a cluttered, if charming shoe maker's workshop to the lovely space that Camellia is today.

When my realtor told me that she had a space to show me that was VERY different from the few ho-hum retail spaces that were available in our price range, I immediately hopped in my car to drive over and take a look. And wow. There it was. I knew from the first time I looked at it, that beautiful space was PERFECT for my bridal shop! The windows, the corner bisecting front door, and most of all- the "Victorian-ess" of it all!

It took another two weeks before I could get in to see it, but finally our wonderful realtor got us in. Occupying the space was a fascinating man who made shoes by hand, and taught workshops to people who wanted to learn how to make shoes- how cool is that! But he had decided to move his family to Lancaster, PA, so it was time for this space to host yet another business. Apparently the storefront had been a meditation studio, a hair salon, a shoe shop and who knows what else? And that was just in the last 40 years or so. I wish I knew the history going back a lot further, as the building was built around the late 1800's, but that is research for another day! This is what the shop looked like when I first saw it:

It took a little imagination, but I could see the potential. I will write about the renovation in my next blog post, so watch this space!


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