VOL. 132 | NO. 235 | Tuesday, November 28, 2017
New Retail Concept Coming to Overton Square
By Andy Meek
A women’s boutique in Overton Square has refashioned itself into what will be a collective of small business vendors launching Dec. 1 and all operating from the one space.
The Attic, a women’s boutique in Overton Square, is turning itself into a collective of small business ventures that will launch Dec. 1. (Photo courtesy of the Attic)
The boutique known as The Attic is pivoting to the new concept, a collection of up to 15 small business vendors that will sell everything from clothing to accessories and handmade housewares and gifts.
The businesses will pay for a two-month lease at $500 per month for their spot within The Attic’s 1,200 square feet where they can display their wares.
In addition to merchandise, the vendors can also include promotional material and decor that helps convey their brand. Vendors already lined up under the new concept include Custom Memphis Graphics, Denim and Pearls Apparel, Branigan Brooke, Found and Fitted Gifts and Black Tape Designer Fashion.
The Attic’s co-owner is Alexandra Scharff, who also owns Adel Amor cosmetics and The Ivory Closet, which has a Germantown and Overton Square location. She thought the new concept would be a way to help entrepreneurs, makers and small-scale vendors get a taste of what owning a business would be like, without them having to make a significant up-front investment.
“It will be one boutique full of makers,” she said. “So it’s not a flea market – it’s more that we all essentially own The Attic. And we’ll try this out for two months.
“There’s a big trend in entrepreneurship and starting your own thing and your own brand. And a lot of millennials, especially, that’s what they want to do. I’ve had a few girls who’ve taken out a small loan who’ll have their mini-boutique in the store. So it’s a way to try your hand at retail without the overhead and liability.”
The Attic will be giving essentially 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of vendor merchandise back to them at the end of each month. That’s unlike a consignment model, where vendors sell merchandise and the co-signer gets part of the profits.
The Attic’s launch is being sponsored by Found and Fitted Gifts, a gift recommendation service that’s also one of The Attic’s vendors.
The Found and Fitted Gifts service is free for use the first time, and it acts like a sort of personal shopper for users who need to buy a gift for someone.
The user is asked a series of questions about the giver and the recipient. Found and Fitted Gifts then delivers gift recommendations along with information about where to buy the product within 72 hours.
“Found and Fitted is excited to be sponsoring the launch of The Attic,” owner Penelope Fisher says. “As a gift recommendation service, we’re constantly looking for ways to incorporate small businesses and artists into our recommendations. This seemed like a perfect way to do just that.”
For now, Scharff said the Attic wants to collect a few more vendors. There are about half a dozen right now, and “we want to get to 15, total.”
She and her husband Benjamin have been the co-owners of The Attic, in addition to owning other separate entrepreneurial ventures. Alexandra Scharff, for example, also owns Adel Amor Cosmetics, The Ivory Closet and Ellen Anchor Clothing Brand, while Benjamin owns IronJaw Dental Labs. The Attic was their first venture together, something they wanted to pursue to help in the ongoing revitalization of Overton Square.