J. C. Penney, The Limited and Payless are just some of the corporations that have recently announced they’re closing stores, filing for bankruptcy or both. It’s a rough time for the national retail industry and small, local businesses could be in danger, too, if not supported by the community.
There are 39,000 local businesses registered in Cuyahoga County. Lovely in Rocky River is one of them. Kate Fortney Horne opened the shop three years ago. She handpicks every item at the specialty gift boutique.
“We hear about these other businesses that are closing and we’ve really just found that by having excellent customer service and focusing on what we’re doing it just seems to be working,” said Horne.
It’s working so well that they’re expanding. They’ll move Lovely two doors down to a space with double the square-footage. The new location on Detroit Road will open in early May. They’ll open Babycakes Children’s Boutique inside the current store in the summer.
“It’s amazing the people in the area that just come in and they want to shop local and they want to shop with us and that’s making all the difference for our business,” said Horne.
Support for Lovely doesn’t surprise Carl Baldesare with the organization Keep It Local Cleveland.
“Cleveland’s a unique city in that we’re a very proud city and we’re very much into supporting our local businesses. That’s what keeps Cleveland unique,” he said.
Keep It Local Cleveland promotes locally-owned businesses. 320 local businesses are currently affiliated with Keep It Local.
Baldesare says it just makes sense. When you spend your money here, 80 percent of that money stays in the local economy.
“When you shop small, when you shop at our store, the money’s going right back into our community,” Horne told us.
Lovely sells items from local designers like Blair Ritchey out of Lakewood. But for continued success, Lovely and other local businesses need you to make the choice to come back and tell your friends.