Who knew that shopping for a gift could turn into such a meaningful and life-changing event? But for Kate Thomas, at Shops at 5807, that’s what happened. While shopping for a friend’s birthday, she overheard, then owners, discussing the need for a holiday employee. Kate jumped in and said, “hire me.”
Eighteen months later, they wanted to sell the shop and retire, they asked Kate if she would be interested in buying it. Without a doubt, she said “Yes”.
The shops within:
Previously owned by sisters Anne Brasfield and Leigh Johnson, the shop opened in 2006 in the heart of Richmond. Twenty-five different vendors share the space, each selling their unique goods.
Nothing is up for consignment. Each shop rents the spaces but shares one central check-out point. “We handle all the day-to-day operations in exchange for rent and commission,” says Kate.
Kate is proud that all but two of the tenants are women-owned businesses. She’s also happy that she can help small businesses open shop and compete with the “big box” and online competitors.
The store’s logo brands the shopping experience as “stylish, eclectic, handpicked, and delish.” Within the store, you’ll find items ranging from nutcrackers, gifts for your pup, jewelry, home furnishings, art, and clothing.
Kate credits the variety of products and the 5807 business model as the reason the shops within the space are thriving. “The people who rent with us tend to stay. Some have been here since the beginning and the ones who have left no longer reside in the area,” says Kate.
“And our customers love the diversity in gifts, and they seek us out because they do want to shop local,” says Kate.
Local business needs a local bank and local merchant services.
Chesapeake Merchant Services (CPS) served as the credit card processor prior to Kate’s ownership of the shop, but she says her relationship has only grown the last two years.
“My first day of owning the shops, we tried out a different credit card processor, but immediately knew it was a mistake the moment we tried to use it,” says Kate. “David Younce immediately drove new terminals down, set us up, and we were off running!”
But that’s why choosing a local merchant services provider matters. “We’re right around the corner, and this is what we do,” says David. “We support you.”
Kate speaks highly of David and how patient and helpful he has been walking her through the PPP loan process last spring and then again with the repayment paperwork. “I was so impressed by all of the people at Chesapeake that I moved my business account to Chesapeake and have a credit card with the bank now too,” says Kate.
Changes in the last year.
During the pandemic, her team added curbside to the list of services when social distancing was in place to make shopping easy for customers.
Kate’s mom, Susie, is the store’s hostess and started taking videos of the shops to share on social. She walks through the store, highlighting items and interviews the different shop owners. They turned out to be a hit. “Our customers really love them and comment about them nonstop,” says Kate. “Susie’s our own little celebrity — people stop her in the shop to say how much they enjoy the videos!”
Her biggest challenge now, is getting inventory delivered on time (part of a crisis that is felt nationwide.)
The perfect gift for you and the perfect fit for Kate.
As for Kate, when she was little, Kate had fashion shows with her sisters and beauty pageants with friends, which later led to owning her own clothing boutique, Madras–one of the shops featured in 5807.
Finding the perfect gift is another love of hers. “Now I get to help customers shop for their loved ones too,” says Kate. “There are so many options to choose from with all of the individual shops under one roof.”
Blending the two loves of fashion and gift shopping for Kate has been a dream come true.
Stop in for a visit at 5807 are located at 5807 Patterson Avenue.