Elitaire Boutique Nominated For 2017 Emerging Small Business Of The Year

On August 15th, the Huntsville-Madison County Chamber will honor the success of small businesses and individuals that have made an impact on the community with an Awards Celebration. One of the contenders, Elitaire Boutique, was nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The women’s boutique opened in October 2016 at The Garage at Clinton Row and has quickly grown into a Downtown Huntsville favorite. The shop’s success is evident as it reached another milestone—a nomination for one of the Chamber’s prestigious awards.

We recently sat down with Kayla Adams, owner of the elegant boutique, to discuss the nomination, coming events at the shop, and what she thinks makes for a winning business.

How does it feel to be nominated for this award?

We are very humbled, excited, nervous—all of these feelings! But ultimately, we are grateful and honored to be nominated alongside all the other fabulous small businesses. Being a finalist is already a win for us.

Tell me a bit about the 2017 Small Business Awards.

Like I said, just being nominated is a big deal to us. Every year, the Chamber honors businesses in several categories; we were nominated for Emerging Business of the Year.

The 32nd Annual Small Business Awards Celebration will happen at the Von Braun Center on August 15th. I am really looking forward to honoring the amazing businesses that have thrived in the Huntsville area. Everyone is a winner in my book.

What do you believe makes for a successful business?

First and foremost, I believe that you have to offer excellent customer service. Without our customers’ support, we wouldn’t have made it past the first day. Providing them with our absolute best is something we continually strive for.

Secondly, you need an amazing, unique product offering. All of our brands are new to the Huntsville area. We want customers to be able to find something exquisite and exclusive without sacrificing style or quality.

And last, but not least, I truly believe in community over competition. This is the mindset in which my husband and I have built Elitaire. It’s also the second reason why our brands are new to the area. As a small business owner, I don’t want to carry a brand that is already being represented in Huntsville by another small business.

I focus on providing something different and giving our customers more shopping options in our city. By doing this, we are also able to refer our customers out to other stellar, local boutiques in Huntsville. This encourages them to keep shopping local.

What do you think customers love about your shop?

I think our customers love our store because it offers women the chance to find their own sophisticated style and feel beautiful—but with unique, high-quality clothing you can’t find anywhere else in town.

We will always be a store that is classic and sophisticated, but we love adding an unexpected, eclectic edge that makes our customers feel avant-garde. We want our customers to leave with a certain “je ne sais quoi” they can’t find anywhere else.

Speaking of customers, do you have any events lined up for them in the near future?

Yes! We are having a free pop-up yoga event coming up on the last Saturday in July. It’s a great way to unwind in a beautiful space with friends. We offered the same event earlier this year and it was a huge success.

In the Fall, we will also have jewelry trunk shows. And stay tuned for a fashion show (or two)! We have a few other surprises up our sleeves that I can’t announce quite yet, but just know it will be an experience you won’t normally find in a retail store.

You said you have several unique brands available. Are there any you’d like to highlight?

I come from a nonprofit background, so it’s very important to me that we give back in any way we can—we do that through our “Purpose Brands” that we carry in the store and online.

The Shine Project

The first is called The Shine Project. This nonprofit helps America’s inner-city youth become first-generation college graduates. These students not only make the jewelry, bags, and screen-printed tees we carry, but they also help in the design and selling process. They even answer the phone when I call customer service! These kids are learning excellent communication skills and work ethic that will help with employment in the future.

FashionABLE

Another “Purpose Brand” we carry is called FashionABLE. Their motto is, “It is widely known that if we are to end extreme poverty two things must happen. One, we must create jobs for those lacking opportunity, and two, we must do so for women.”

This is the gap that FashionABLE has been helping—women who have been victims of extreme poverty, abuse, and human trafficking in Nashville, Ethiopia, and Peru. These women hand-make beautiful pieces of jewelry, leather goods, and clothing—and they are all original.

E.S.CO

E.S.CO is owned by Emma Steelman who is a local, self-taught silversmith and artist. She hand-makes each piece of jewelry out of silver or gold and also uses hand-selected real stones in her design. You will never find two pieces that are alike.

We feel it’s important to support local artists and businesses, and we are always looking to showcase that talent in our store.

What do you love about your job?

Honestly, I love everything about it. But I love my customers the most. The people I am able to meet through this career and the relationships that have grown from it are priceless to me.

We love to provide customers with the best shopping experience possible, so we will always be listening and adapting to what they want while providing our best customer service.

You will always be greeted with a smile when you walk into Elitaire Boutique.

Check out the FULL LIST of award contenders here.

 And stay tuned to Elitaire’s Facebook page for more updates from the shop. Or follow them on Instagram @elitaireboutique.

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_clemons_signature
haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Broker Spotlight: Anusha Alapati

How did you become interested in commercial real estate?

That’s an interesting story—I sort of fell into it. When I graduated college I was offered a job at my great uncle’s company, Yedla Management, that develops hotels across the Southeast. I became very interested in the development side of the business and he suggested that commercial real estate might be something that would fit me. He was right.

I wake up every day feeling blessed to be in my position. It’s challenging, fun, and very rewarding.

Anusha Alapati

What do you love most about your job as a commercial real estate broker?

Being able to help the City of Huntsville grow and thrive is something that never gets old. We are a big city with a small-town feel, and it’s amazing to watch new businesses be supported by the community with such enthusiasm.

Even the challenges are enjoyable—they can end up being the most fun. Creating retail synergy is a giant puzzle, and I have the privilege of thinking through those challenges and helping produce something out-of-the-box, memorable, and highly successful. And of course, the relationships I’ve built through my position have been a major highlight.

What makes Huntsville a wonderful destination for new businesses?

We are starting to see the urbanization of Huntsville as our city is embracing the live, work, play lifestyle. Like I said, the support that the community gives is unmatched. Huntsville is on the rise, and new concepts are welcomed here with open arms.

The city shares a passion for development and growth, and that’s reflected in the way we encourage new business ventures. I hope to bring more interesting retail concepts to the Rocket City.

You specialize in retail leasing—what does that mean?

Focusing on a particular area of commercial real estate is something that differentiates Crunkleton. We have brokers that specialize in certain types of leasing, allowing them to stay hyper-focused on a specific side of the business. My specialty is retail.

I understand the landscape of boutique, restaurant, and specialty retail leasing and what it takes to be successful in those areas. It’s something that has always clicked with me and it’s where my passion is.

What projects have you found especially rewarding?

That’s too difficult to answer; every project is unique. I do love the challenging projects, because they make you stay on top of your game and expand your skillset. You are never stagnant in this line of work. It requires you to keep growing.

That being said, it has been a privilege to be a part of the revitalization of Downtown Huntsville. Wesley Crunkleton did an amazing job of executing his vision for The Garage at Clinton Row, and I was given the opportunity to lease the development. Working with Charlie and Sasha Sealy on The Avenue was also an exciting undertaking because it was one of the first large-scale mixed-use developments in the downtown area.

But it’s not just about downtown, projects like Central Park Village, 2700 Capitol Park in Tuscaloosa, and the chance to work with retailers in expanding to other cities has been very fulfilling too.

Anusha worked on major Downtown Huntsville projects like The Garage at Clinton Row. Here she is in her favorite dress from Elitaire Boutique, a tenant at The Garage!

What piece of advice would you give to someone considering a career in commercial real estate?

It takes grit, persistence, leaving your comfort zone, and developing meaningful relationships to be successful.

Be ready to work hard. It involves constant research and putting yourself out there to make sure the job is done.

How do you stay on top of your game?

In this business, you have to stay ahead of the trends. What do people want? Where do people want to shop? What experience can you deliver to a retail consumer that leaves a lasting impression? I am always researching trends—Business Insider, Forbes, Shopping Centers Today, you name it. I also attend major conferences like ICSC and I travel to research new concepts.

It’s important to understand how millennials live, work, and find entertainment. Trends change rapidly and are vastly different today than 5 years ago, or even 2 years ago.

What value do you hope to bring to your clients?

I want to ensure a seamless process and be a resource for them. I want to be there to connect them to the people and assets they need for a prosperous business. Watching my clients grow and flourish is why I do what I do.

Enjoying a day of fly fishing in Blue Ridge, GA.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the office?

Staying active in the community is important to me, which is why I try to spend my free time volunteering with organizations like Mayfair Inner City Church and Junior League of Huntsville. I’m also a member of Committee 100 YP and a newly elected member of the Huntsville Museum of Art Foundation Board.

I also love fly fishing, spending time with my family, my boyfriend Matt, and my dog Charlie.

You can contact Anusha by email at anusha@crunkletonassociates.com or by calling 256-536-8809.

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_clemons_signature
haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

Frios Gourmet Pops Opens In Downtown Huntsville!

“When we first set foot in Downtown Huntsville, we knew we had to open our store here,” said Ericka Hopkins, owner of Frios Gourmet Pops – Huntsville. “It felt like a community—one where we could be the local popsicle shop that knew everyone’s name and remembered the kids’ favorite flavors. We are thrilled to bring Frios to the Downtown area. It’s fun, nostalgia, and a quality product all-in-one.”

Frios_Huntsville

Located at the Garage at Clinton Row, Frios is now open and serving up the tastiest treats in town made with fresh ingredients and close-to-home flavors.

Hours for the shop are:

Monday – Thursday 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Friday – Saturday 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Sunday – 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Customers can choose from about 80 different flavors,” said Ericka. “And you always know what you’re eating, because selections are based on the growing season. If we can’t get the freshest ingredients available, we won’t serve it.”

All popsicles are made from Alabama ingredients in an effort to support local farmers. Ericka and her husband Bart fell in love with the quality of Frios popsicles and contacted the company’s founder, Andy Harp, to get information about opening their own store.

Image courtesy of © Frios

“Andy has the best personality to work with,” said Ericka. “He has been with us every step of the way in making our dream a reality. Andy is determined to keep ingredients as natural as possible, and that’s something that we found very important in a business.”

Based in Gadsden, Alabama, Frios has steadily grown to over 20 storefronts located in six different states—thanks to developing relationships with local farmers and the company’s eclectic personality.

“One of the best things about Frios is its focus on helping local farms thrive,” said Ericka. “All dairy used in our pops comes from a dairy farm outside of Dothan. We also sell products that support other Alabama businesses.”

In addition to delicious gourmet pops, Frios also serves G Mommas bite-sized cookies and Fox Point Farm Goat Milk Caramels.

“G Mommas cookies come directly from Selma, and Fox Point Farm is located in Kellyton,” said Ericka. “My husband and I are very passionate about helping small Alabama businesses, so we wanted our customers to have access to some of the best the state has to offer.”

Frios appeals to visitors of all ages, whether you’re a concerned parent who wants to serve healthy ingredients or an energetic toddler who wants a frozen treat.

“I have two very active little boys,” said Ericka. “There have been many times in the late afternoon I wanted to relax for a few minutes while the kids were entertained. That’s why we have activities for them here. Kids can draw on our chalkboard, or color a popsicle drawing to enter our weekly contest.”

Frios chooses a new drawing each week and displays it for all to see while rewarding the child with a free popsicle.

Ericka said more is coming to the store to add to the fun. The shop has a wall that’s set up for photos and will be getting funny props for visitors to use soon.

“My husband and I have always loved Huntsville,” said Ericka. “And we aim to serve the highest-quality frozen treats while bringing more fun to the community. Come on in and try the banana split pop! It’s delicious.”

You can read more about Frios HERE! 

Get connected with Frios Gourmet Pops – Huntsville by following them on Facebook and Instagram!

Have you tried Frios yet? What’s your favorite flavor? Let us know in the comments.

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

haley_clemons_signature
haley_square
HALEY CLEMONS
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE GROUP
HALEY@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM

The 2016 Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide

We’re back again to share our second annual Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide with you!

screen-shot-2016-12-05-at-4-29-10-pm

Downtown Huntsville is bursting at the seams with brand new retail shops this holiday season! So if you’re looking to get away from the mall, head to Downtown Huntsville and check out a few of these great stores! They’re sure to have something for everyone on your list!

Just like last year, we’ve put together a little look book of what you can expect to find at each store along with their hours of operation and location!

And this year, because there are simply SO MANY new stores that they all just wouldn’t fit on one blog post, we’ve given the guide it’s very own website!  You can even shop by the type of gift you are looking for!

The 2016 Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide

(click the text above to view the 2016 Downtown Huntsville Shopping Guide)


Want a tiny peek inside the guide?  Here’s a small sampling of what you’ll find when you look around the guide. (For more photos from each store and to view their hours, location and connect with them online simply click on the store’s name).

UG White Mercantile

Roosevelt & Company

Elitaire Boutique

The Pants Store

Harrison Brothers Hardware

Want to see more!? Then check out the full listings for all these amazing Downtown stores on The 2016 Downtown Huntsville Christmas Shopping Guide by CLICKING HERE where you can check out even more amazing Downtown Huntsville shops like these:

Awe Boutique
Meraki Boutique
Woodtech
Clachic Boutique
Christina Wegman Fine Art
Echo Records
Elsweyr Shoppe
81:Home, Gift & Glam
The Whateva Shop
& Don’t Forget About Gift Cards!

Want to help spread the word and help others shop local and support our Downtown this holiday season? Then share the 2016 Downtown Huntsville Shopping Guide on your social media!

SplitLine
Make sure you’re staying on top of the latest trends, newest developments and hottest new stores in Huntsville by subscribing to our weekly blog updates!

404220_10150473102152791_1516819070_nKadie_Sig
KADIE PANGBURN
MARKETING COORDINATOR
CRUNKLETON Commercial Real EState Group
KADIE@CRUNKLETONASSOCIATES.COM