- Special Sections
- Public Notices
SUNSET BEACH—With wheels in motion for a new merchants association, local Realtor Fred Thorne says things are looking up along his little stretch of commerce.
For the first time, all the shops along Queen Anne Street in the Village Center are rented, Thorne said at a Dec. 5 meeting to discuss formation of a town-wide merchants association.
Thorne was among about 30 merchants who, along with Sunset Beach town officials, attended the session to hear Lindsey Kueffner, executive director of related associations with North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA), outline steps toward forming a local merchants association.
Decorating for the holidays was one December goal of merchants along that stretch.
“We have 13 shops and no good signage,” Thorne said.
How many people, he asked, know there’s a new antiques/gift shop, Thistle and Ivy, a spa, and salon called Hair Du.
“Give us some help, guys,” he said.
He cited weekly summertime concerts that were staged there earlier this year, adding a handful of people can’t handle the expense.
“Let’s work together and make everyone a winner, guys,” Thorne said.
Along Queen Anne Street, merchants old and new are enthused about the proposed collaboration.
“It’s a hard time of year right now,” said Jim Bos, bartender and day manager at Fibber McGees Irish Pub.
With decreased activity, “it’s good to have more draw,” he said.
Mike Russell moved his business, We Buy Treasures, to the complex from Shallotte three months ago.
“I just like the area,” Russell said. “Little shops like this are good now because we’re all full.”
Hair Du, a salon, as well as Sunset Beach Massage Therapy and Thistle and Ivy are other new shops.
Steve Mullins, co-owner of Thistle and Ivy with his business partner/mom, Barbara, said they opened a month ago.
“We actually live in the complex,” he said, adding their shop is in the last available storefront.
“I was ready to try something new and decided to open the shop,” he said. “This location really appealed to us.”
Massage therapist Sandra Hales is a newcomer to the complex. Other shops include Sundial Management, ShopGirl, CuriosiTees, Sunset Nail and Spa, European Skin Center Salon, Silver Coast Properties and Burning Lake Photography.
Thorne, of Fred Thorne Realty, is one of the first occupants of the complex, moving in when it opened in 2007.
He is hopeful about formation of a merchants association that would unite both mainland and island businesses.
Another meeting is planned in January, involving merchants and “key individuals in town,” he said.
It would be a great boost for business in Sunset Beach, he said, “especially in this economy.”
Laura Lewis is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email email@example.com.