New retail center helps Brandon businesses draw more customers

By Rosemary McCoy

BRANDON – The owners of a new Brandon retail center that houses their business have added staff and expanded their hours since moving.

“It has been insane the amount of new customers we have and the business we are getting,” said Ellison Cutrer, who built the retail center along Splitrock Boulevard with her husband, Billy. They own Gypsy Trading Co., which sells handcrafted items by 63 makers and merchandise from 10 retailers. Inventory ranges from home décor and furniture to greeting cards and coffee.

One space in the retail center is leased to Beautique, which was next to Gypsy Trading Co. in an older building on Cedar Street.

The two shops opened in the new building June 10. Gypsy Trading Co. is having a ribbon-cutting at 11:30 a.m. July 25.

The Cutrers, both of whom work in the store, added one part-time staff member just before the move and another one recently. Her mother also helps out in the store one day a week.

Cutrer likes having two staff members in the store “because people have questions since it’s a DIY (do-it-yourself) store.”

With the increase in customer traffic, Gypsy Trading Co. is also open now on Mondays and Sundays.

The makers who supply the business with merchandise are happy with their sales, Cutrer said.

One of the benefits of the new building is more floor and storage space, which allows the business to stock more inventory for the vendors, she said.

The extra room also has allowed Gypsy Trading Co. to expand its DIY classes. The Cutrers offered private classes for up to 10 students in the old space but have opened them to the public now because there’s room for more than 50. Upcoming classes include one on chalk painting this week and another one on lettering in early August.

Beautique owner Amanda Christopherson said she’s definitely seeing an increase in walk-in traffic because of the new store. Some of that might be related to the newness of the space, and she’s waiting to see how much of it is caused by the more visible location.

She does a significant amount of her sales online, but the new store is shifting that percentage.

“Before, my sales were 70 percent online and 30 percent in-store,” she said. “Now, it’s 50-50 or at least 60-40.”

Christopherson added one full-time position just before the move and may add one or two part-time positions going into fall, when sales typically increase. Beautique already was open seven days a week, so she hasn’t changed her hours. The shop is open until 8 p.m. one night a week, and she might expand that to another day starting in October.

Three additional spaces in the retail center are available for lease. Two of them are 1,500 square feet, and one is 2,000 square feet.

Cutrer said there has been a lot of interest in the building. One retailer is checking demographics, and the others are new businesses that have lots of legwork to do, she said.

Beautique

New retail center helps Brandon businesses draw more customers

The owners of a new Brandon retail center that houses their business have added staff and expanded their hours since moving.

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