ELLERBE — This small town known for its antique and curiosity shops is experiencing a business boom.
Tangled Salon and The Woodpecker, a gift shop, both held soft openings last week, with official openings on Monday and next Saturday, respectively.
“I’ve always wanted to (open a salon) since I was little,” said Brooke Gibson, owner of Tangled Salon. One of those girls who fiddled with others’ hair, she now has her own shop, beside her grandma’s flower shop and across the street from the Ellerbe fire station.
She’ll offer cuts, color, facial waxing and perms — usual salon fare. But she will be open Mondays, the day barber shops and beauty salons traditionally take off. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and by appointment Saturday.
What Gibson lacks in business acumen — at 20, she has attended cosmetology school and worked for others — she’ll get from grandmother Sharon Puckett, who has reduced the size of her Flowers for You shop to accommodate the salon.
“She can help me out with anything I need,” said Gibson, whose official opening Monday noon drew her parents, two grandmothers, the Ellerbe mayor and two town council members, plus assorted well-wishers.
Heather Raines, who owns The Woodpecker on Ellerbe’s Main Street, is a different kind of businesswoman altogether.
She planted the bountiful coleuses and petunias out front of her shop, and hammered up tin siding from old chicken coops to the inside walls. Many of the crates and farm implements — a winch, crates and peck baskets — that display her items for sale are repurposed from the farm of her husband’s grandparents, where Raines and her husband now live.
Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Raines’s shop offers many homemade items: beeswax candles and honey from David Stewart at Pee Dee Bees; homemade soaps and scented candles from Jennifer and Robbie Cole; and rustic wooden signs Raines makes herself.
“I try to keep as local as I can,” she said Monday.
Raines’s signs and display ladders are so popular, she sold out of them in four days after her soft opening last week, which forced her to use her weekend to rebuild and restock. She will take custom orders for those who see something they like elsewhere, or when her inventory falls short.
Raines carries other gift items: jewelry, flip-flops and tote bags. She has a few other things planned for the shop: screen-printed T-shirts, vinyl decals and embroidery. And she will take orders for Roda Cutlery.
Raines worked at a bank for 14 years before quitting to help her husband, Josh, with his trucking and lumber businesses.
She pined to work for herself but couldn’t summon up the gumption.
This Valentine’s Day, Josh Raines rented a Main Street storefront for his wife and said, “Do it!”
And she did, rehabbing the inside of the shop, creating the lush planters out front and building her inventory.
“Ellerbe’s so small,” she said — and that’s what attracted her. “I don’t have much overhead because I’m able to do everything myself.”
When she needs assistance, Raines said, she’ll attend meetings of the Ellerbe Downtown Merchants Association, which meets at 6 p.m. the last Wednesday of each month, to conjure ways to attract and build businesses, and boost the looks of downtown.
Reach reporter Christine Carroll at 910-817-2673.