Three women recently opened up new local businesses at the former location of the Main Street Emporium in Cortez.
Residents and passersby can now pick up a locally made candle at Centennial Gifts, walk to the rear of the store for a haircut at Main Street Salon and Spa and then permanently remove some unwanted hair at Electrolysis by Sonya.
“It’s kind of like a one-stop shopping kind of thing,” Main Street Salon and Spa owner Margaret Tevault said.
The surge of life at the 15 W. Main St. location began when Nicki Krob, who makes candles under the name Centennial Candle Co., stopped by the Main Street Emporium in May to pick up her remaining inventory from then-owner Breezy Obletz, who was closing the business down.
Krob had just wrapped up a job elsewhere in town, and the two began talking about the future of the gift shop.
“She didn’t want Cortez not to have this type of a store, and I told her that I would love to have this type of a store,” Krob said, recalling her conversation with Obletz.
Krob took over the business in early June. She continues to sell her homemade candles as well as scarves, clothing items, makeup, playing card games, puzzles, knick-knacks and locally made soaps. Most of her items at this point come from large retailers, but she said she hopes to soon carry more local items.
She said small businesses are an important part of the economy – and people don’t have to shop at Walmart for everything.
“If people shop here, I can shop at their businesses, or I have the money to get my tires fixed at a mom-and-pop shop that will help them,” Krob said. “It just keeps the money with the people who need it.”
A few weeks after Krob took over the gift shop, Tevault, who has worked as a hair stylist for 38 years and previously owned a salon in town, struck up a conversation with Krob and soon subleased the rear of the building and took over the existing salon. Tevault said she realized the two could work well together as a team.
“I really feel like local businesses should support each other, and I feel like it should be all a team effort,” Tevault said.
More recently, about six weeks ago, Sonya Marsell moved her electrolysis business into a side room in between the gift shop and the salon. Marsell said she had been previously performing electrolysis – a technique that permanently removes unwanted hair from the face, eyebrows or body – at her home for four years and thought the location right next to the salon would be ideal. The adjacent gift shop also helps bring in customers.
“I always tell my customers to go smell her candles,” Marsell said. “I think it works for all of us.”