The first retail shop to open in the newly renovated Capitol Theatre is hoping to shift downtown Flint into a more vibrant shopping scene.
Known simply as SHIFT, the new boutique represents to sixteenth new business to arrive to Flint’s downtown business corridor since 2016 (see related story).
The grand opening celebration of the shop on Wednesday, June 20, drew a friendly crowd and the familiar buzz of downtown Flint revitalization. The store, located on the ground floor of the theatre, focuses on women’s clothing that starts at $24 and up.
SHIFT is owned by three partners, Heidi McAra, executive director of 100k Ideas, Meghan Hoffman, owner of Floradora, and Shannon White, owner and president of FUNchitecture. They are bringing in well-known brands from Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and other well-known fashion areas. It also carries items for kids and men, such as towels for the pool for the kids and hair care products for men.
The new store is also an extension of Floradora Flowers, which is housed in the Flint Farmers’ Market.
The three have been working on opening the store for more than a year, according to McAra.
The idea began with Hoffman’s desire to expand her shop, Floradora, where she currently creates bouquets on site in the Flint Farmers’ Market. She was looking for more space for sit-down consultations with clients and to expand her business. When Hoffman brought up her ambitions to McAra, the idea bloomed.
They began talking with White and the three put their heads together and decided they wanted to bring the boutique to downtown Flint.
“We started having conversations about it and we know there isn’t a lot of retail downtown and yet, in order for Flint to have a thriving downtown, you have to have a retail aspect,” says McAra. “You want people to live work and play in an area.”
Over the past year, the group had a collaborative relationship with Friends of the Capitol Theater, which owned the building, and Uptown Reinvestment Corporation to help with the build and planning. After looking at all the available spaces downtown, they chose The Capitol Theatre.
Many came to celebrate the grand opening of SHIFT and look at the newly decorated, bright white space, stocked with colorful retail – a change from what some are used to downtown. It reminded some of the past, thriving Flint.
“It’s great to see retail like this returning to downtown. This is the kind of business that my parents and grandparents would have known, shoe stores, men and women’s clothing stores, places to buy china and furniture and most of that was gone by the mid to late 70s, so this is great for downtown Flint,” says Joel Rash, Flint Local 432.
SHIFT is located at 140 E 2nd St. in Suite 100, and is open Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. and Saturday 11:00 a.m.- 5 p.m. You can follow them on Facebook.