New stores and restaurants are popping up everywhere, but what about those retailers who forged the path for the fledglings? Today we’re sitting down with a few representatives from some of Atlanta’s mainstay institutions. For starters, they all have 404 phone numbers, which tells you just how long they’ve been a part of our retail scene. However, beyond their staying power, these businesses have not only succeeded in our market for many years but have paved the way for new businesses, too. Through smart business decisions and a lot of grit, they’ve created a name for themselves and a permanent place in ATL’s retail sector. Learn more about each brand’s future and hear what advice they have for Atlanta business owners, all of which happens to be great life advice for those of us less business savvy, too.
3167 Peachtree Road NE, Ste. O-P, Atlanta, GA 30305 • (404) 842-9990
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; closed Sundays
Tootsies, an upscale women’s clothing and accessories boutique, has been a part of the Atlanta scene for 25 years, and to celebrate, they’ve recently moved to a new location at The Exchange, a shopping center that’s received a fresh facelift of its own. The light-filled, modern space beckons shoppers through the doors and creates a sleek backdrop for browsing. Personal stylist and events coordinator Sara Mixon, who has been a part of the Tootsies team for 15 years, says that was an intentional design decision because “it feels shoppable and comfortable.” There’s even a selfie wall! Besides providing a beautiful space for shopping, Sara explains the facelift also played into the company’s values, “We like to make everyone feel at home with really personal touches. We have reserved parking, we have beverages, and if you’re going to spend the day with us, we’re happy to get you lunch. It’s a very personalized experience.”
Part of the personal experience at Tootsies is their involvement with the community which is a huge part of their business model. This year will be no different. “We’re most excited about partnering with the community the way that we have. This year we’re taking on the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s event. We do an ovarian cancer event called Teal to Heal which is our eighth annual. We do an event for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation called Couture for Kids. We’re doing a tea for breast cancer in October for A Cure in Our Lifetime. We are the fashion sponsor for Wine, Women and Shoes. We’re excited to continue to grow that side of our business in our new location,” Sara says.
Sara’s advice for business owners:
Get involved in your community. I think that consumers, clients and folks who are loyal to your business are much more willing to spend their hard earned money with people who are doing something for the community that they live in. It all comes full circle. It’s a human connection. We’re here to make people happy, but we’re also here to create a better environment in the community that we live in.
1183 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, GA 30318 • (404) 350-0330
Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; closed Sundays
Owned and operated by Dina Woodruff, Peridot has been a go-to home and gift store for nearly 30 years. Prior to this spring, Dina had two locations of her bustling store: one on Roswell Road and one on Howell Mill. However, just a few months ago, Peridot closed its Buckhead space to move exclusively to Atlanta’s Design District on the Westside. Dina explains the choice as something more exciting than intimidating, “Our lease came up, and we decided that being in one location would better serve our customers, and lots of exciting new things were going on in the Westside. There are lots of new stores, restaurants and a strong community environment where people come to the area and spend the day. Also, the Westside is becoming more and more of a design area.” The decision all but made itself.
In their single location, Dina has plans to expand their offerings and services, but more than that, she’s also looking forward to maintaining everything under one roof. What does the future hold? “Fine tuning what we know – the design lines we carry in our store, our relationship with the customers, etc. I am excited that our whole team, and creative energy, are now all in one base,” she explains. That honed-in, unique perspective is part of what has kept Peridot customers returning year after year. Dina knows her brand, and we’re excited to see how it blossoms from here.
Dina’s advice for facing tough decisions:
Take your time and think the decisions through. Always look at it in a positive light, whatever the change may be. Change can be good and add excitement back into your business and employees. And always believe in yourself and your decisions.
2351A Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30305 • (404) 846-9244
Hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; closed Sundays
Buckhead’s Gramercy just completed a renovation to update their Peachtree Battle location. As a frequented shop for the finest linens and home decor, Gramercy’s signature style is unsurprisingly shining in their newly renovated space. Visitors will notice the colorful French D. Porthault linens, a stunning gift selection and plush, luxurious bedding displays featuring signature Southern monograms. As Gramercy’s 10th birthday approached, the store knew it wanted to celebrate in style. Manager Andrea Owens explains, “We were outgrowing our space, and we knew this was the perfect time to renovate. We are loving the new space, and it has allowed us to showcase so much more product.”
Located in the iconic Peachtree Battle shopping center, complete with a chiming clock, Andrea says moving wasn’t really an option, “My first thought was why would anyone want to leave the Peachtree Battle Shopping Center? It has everything you need! It’s similar to a classic village and even has a clock tower that chimes on the hour. Our location in Buckhead is easy to get to from several areas of the city, and its close proximity to ADAC makes it convenient for designers.” Now with their newly renovated space – which we love as much as Andrea – Gramercy is able to showcase their products and design offerings in even more style than before.
Andrea’s advice about your customers:
Retail is competitive, and what our customers tell us is our attention to detail and customer service go a long way. Our team is thoughtful and always tries their best to help. If you listen to your customer and pay attention to industry and sales trends, your product mix and shop aesthetic will fall into place.
Thank you, ladies, for giving us a peek into your new homes as well as your best business advice!
For even more of our favorite retail haunts, check out StyleBlueprint Atlanta’s store highlights.