Doubling Up Under One Roof

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Roommates —we all have heard more nightmare stories than good ones. Although it’s nothing new, a number of small businesses have found the roommate concept effective, including the newly joint shop with Keepers Vintage and Knits, Soy & Metal.

“First and foremost, there is a cost benefit for both of us, sharing resources will save both of us money,” says KS&M owner Letta Moore.

Keepers Vintage owner Erica Bentley & Knits, Soy & Metal owner Letta Moore. Photo: Olivia Obineme

And tonight, Moore and Keepers Vintage owner Erica Bentley will officialize their partnership with the grand opening of their shared storefront located at 229 W. Read Street, in the Mount Vernon neighborhood.

As this is Moore’s first time owning her own retail space, Bentley has had some previous experience. “Keepers Vintage started out in a multi-vendor space and then moved into a shared store,” Bentley explained of her time in Hampden, in a press release on the new storefront.

Bentley’s latest move is just doors down at 246 W. Read Street from her new location with Moore. The two small business owners admit they have never worked so close together, but are “definitely motivated and dedicated to making this work.”

“We have shared a year of becoming valuable resources for one another,” says Bentley. “This past year, I have consulted with Letta on everything from branding to breastfeeding. I think it will help that we have established trust.”

Their new joint shop will cater to more opportunities to grow both businesses, and even provide more shop experiences for consumers.

Knits, Soy & Metal owner Letta Moore. Photo: Olivia Obineme

“Expect to have access to my entire line of products at the new space,” Moore says, “and consumers can come into the space and create their own candle on the candle-making bar.” For Moore, that includes her all-natural soy candles, hand-knit goods, and jewelry.

“Keepers will go from women’s vintage only to include men’s vintage and new handmade clothing and accessories,” Bentley says, “most from local artists.” Local vendors displayed in the shop include Cedar & Cotton, Plum Rabbit Print Shop, among others.

Stocking up. Menswear making its debut at Keepers Vintage. Photo: Olivia Obineme

The combined store adds to the spark of growing businesses in the neighborhood. Although the 200 block of Read Street has experienced some vacancies, including Jay’s on Read leaving last year, a number of entities have found continued success.

Fellow Read Street entrepreneur Morissa Rothman, owner of vintage shop Bottle of Bread just moved across the street to 216 W. Read Street, formerly occupying Bentley and Moore’s new location.

“The new space has given me a lot more space to merchandise and I have also brought some new makers into the space,” says Rothman. “I am also excited to add more programming. There is a killer backyard at the shop that I am excited to use.”

Rather than move to a more shopping-centric neighborhood, Rothman felt the need to keep her business in Mount Vernon.

Bottle of Bread. Photo: Olivia Obineme

Bottle of Bread. Photo: Olivia Obineme

“I think Erica and I are both interested in getting Read Street back to its original bohemian roots and are hoping to bring more people down here for vintage shopping,” she says.

“So, it’s all about getting people onto the street and seeing that there are a lot of shopping options in Mount Vernon.”

Now, Knits, Sow & Metal joins the list shopping options in the neighborhood, just in time for the holiday season. And it’s with the support of their customers Moore and Bentley are excited to continue growing their brands under one roof.

“My reception was great and the continued support has been incredible,” Moore says.

Keepers Vintage owner Erica Bentley. Photo: Olivia Obineme

“I feel more connected than I ever have. You know you are on to something when people, many who you don’t even know, are excited about what you are doing. The love has been incredible,” Bentley says.

Check out the Keepers Vintage and Knits, Soy & Metal shop grand opening, this evening. Enjoy refreshments, specialty drinks, and gifts with purchase. 229 W. Read Street. 6-8pm. Bottle of Bread is open Tuesday through Sunday, 11am – 6pm.

Creator & managing editor of Strangers With Style. Happiest when her work allows others to shine, too. Lover of collabs, social media, blogging, fashion, food & the color blue.