Edwardsville’s Shoppes on Main is all about local shops

It took Nichole Ahlers and Jan Wallace just two weeks to make Shoppes on Main what it is now.

After taking over the entire operation at 220 N. Main St., Edwardsville in September, Ahlers and Wallace knew exactly what they wanted to do with the store.

Not only did they want to expand the range of their own shops, but they also wanted to make a retail space available to other local businesses and artisans.

“We’re making it more affordable for them as a small business owner to have a location on Edwardsville Main Street,” Ahlers said. “Everyone here is local, or they source locally.”

Ahlers, owner of Creations by Kiki with business partner Amanda Reckamp, ​​has been in business since September 2020. Wallace and her son, Evan, have owned KWL Science, a CBD company, for about three years.

Creations by Kiki and KWL Science act as flagship anchor stores for nearly 20 other local vendors and artisans who use Shoppes on Main as a small business marketplace.

“People love it,” Wallace said. “It fits perfectly. All these local artisans and vendors have a place.”

Local businesses include Party Queen Dips, In My Mind’s Eye Shoppe, The Scrubtastic Scrubbery, Diane’s Divine Soaps, Iehl Woodworking, Rising Stars Boutique, Diana Carson Wreaths, Missing Meadow, Hodge Podge Gifts, Humble Pie, Phathead BBQ, Sprout Pickles, Ernst Family Farms, Crafts by Chrissy, Shirley Poole Crafts, AJK Designs and Oil Oils and More.

Through their own connections and through Facebook, Ahlers and Wallace were able to bring vendors into the store within their two-week timeframe.

“We were lucky that many interested parties came,” said Ahlers. “We know the person behind the company.”

Wallace added, “If we don’t already know her, we’ll get to know her personally.”

Each shelf in Shoppes on Main acts as its own shop. There are two different options for providers. For $50/month, a vendor can have an entire column of shelves, or for $25/month, a vendor can have a single smaller shelf.

“We take care of everything,” Wallace said. “The taxes, the accounting, everything for her. So for that price, they’re in here and they don’t have to worry about anything other than making their store look good. So if someone is really just starting out and is nervous, they can rent a shelf and see how it goes.”

Ahlers added, “We wanted to make it affordable for them to enter a marketplace.”

Ahlers and Wallace not only provide space for small, local businesses, but as business owners, they also provide help and mentoring for sellers as they expand their businesses.

“To be able to help you is incredible,” said Ahlers. “I’ve always wanted to have my own business. It’s not easy, but I wanted to help other companies too.”

Many of the vendors can also be found in local markets such as Edwardsville and Maryville.

“The markets are great,” Wallace said, “but some people want an easier place to go to, but they still want the feel of a downtown market.” We can offer you that.”

Since incorporating the local businesses, Ahlers and Wallace have made it their mission to keep the store organized, with plenty of room to move and no clutter.

“Customers were really excited about the change,” said Ahlers. “We’ve only had good feedback from the community. We are happy to be here and support the community.”

They are currently working on making Shoppes on Main a local hangout as well. In addition to their baking and decoration courses, Ahlers also wants to hold some tasting events.

Wallace is considering hosting Infused After Dark, a CBD night where people do painting meditations with CBD-infused beverages. Shoppes on Main also partners with City Scoops for CBD-infused ice cream, and Ahlers makes CBD-infused cookies.

“It’s really fun,” Wallace said. “Everyone freezes and paints.”

Shoppes on Main gears up for the holiday shopping season. They have Christmas gift baskets as well as Black Friday and Small Business Saturday deals. Ahlers and Wallace are planning extended shopping hours for the holiday season.

The current opening hours are Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m

Updates will be posted on the Shoppes on Main Facebook page. Providers can reach out via Facebook how they can participate.

“The Edwardsville community is very supportive,” Wallace said. “That’s what they like to see and prefer.”

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