Some might say that nothing much ever happens in a small town like Mount Pleasant. But in recent months, a handful of new businesses have made an impact on this little town.
The spring opening of the White Owl Antique Mall, added to businesses like Cline’s Antiques, Ruffin’s Roost and Grammy’s Attic, makes Mount Pleasant a destination for antiques shoppers, said White Owl owner Rodney Miles. He describes the mall, in a former textiles factory that had sat empty for five years, as “500 mom and pops” with something for everyone. The Sept. 2 Annual Owl Fest Antique Festival could bring more than 10,000 people to Mount Pleasant.
At Little Sunshine Grace on North Main Street, Vanna Barnhardt, her mother, Annette Barnhardt, and Teresa Eudy have room to expand what was a flourishing Etsy business, selling monogrammed scarves online. “We worked ourselves to death that year,” Annette said of their first Christmas in business. “But after that, the business just took off.”
While their online business remains steady, Little Sunshine Grace now has space to display the purses, tote bags, scarves, and T-shirts they can monogram.
“This is something Mount Pleasant needed,” Vanna said.
“We had an opportunity to go to Salisbury, but we wanted to be close to home,” Annette added. And an advantage of doing business in their hometown is that even without advertising, they have plenty of customers.
Offering services close to home is also the goal of Beautiful Creations, a full-service florist that opened in November. Owners Anna Collins, and mother and daughter Kathy Crum and Tara Capezzuto, say they saw a need for a florist in Mount Pleasant, so when the opportunity came to move into a former taxidermy shop, they took it. After two months of remodeling, including removing a big, scary bear left behind by the previous tenants, the space now displays floral arrangements and wreaths.
Crum, who has worked with flowers since 1999, says they offer anything a customer could want but her favorite is sympathy arrangements. “I love funeral work,” she said. “Maybe because it’s the last thing you can do for that person.”
Capezzuto said they love working in a small town where “everyone is so nice. You’re building relationships with people.”
At town hall, project event coordinator Amy Schueneman said Mount Pleasant is excited to have new businesses. Mayor Del Eudy and the town commissioners have been very busy in recent months with a series of ribbon cuttings.
One of the most recent celebrations was for the new location of Fit Connection with Susan Moose. Offering fitness classes, Moose’s business has grown from a handful of women exercising in rented space to dozens of classes offered weekly in a revamped, former Family Dollar store.
Like these other new enterprises, Fit Connection draws people from all over to Mount Pleasant, which is capitalizing on its small town charm and using it to grow business.
Marcia Morris is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Marcia? Email her at EasternCabarrusWriter@gmail.com