Throughout the year, we’ll be highlighting notable women in our community. We want to spotlight those who are shaping where we live and giving back to our neighborhood. Do you know someone you think we should feature? Let us know in the comments!
Local businesses are the fabric of our community, and in 28205, they provide so much of its identity and culture. These small shops are the lifeline of our neighborhood and now, more than ever, it is important for us to rally behind them. This month, we were thrilled to sit down with Michelle Castelloe, owner of Moxie Mercantile, to talk about her uniquely-curated store that brings not only a beautiful assortment of home and lifestyle goods to Plaza Midwood (and sister store in Davidson, NC), but also supports the numerous independent artisans housed within its walls.
How long has Moxie Mercantile been around and what inspired you to open it?
Our storefront opened in Oct of 2015 after 8 months of negotiating our building and buttering up the previous owner. Following that, we did 2 months of renovations. However, opening Moxie has always been a dream of mine.
What were you doing before you opened Moxie?
Most recently (14 years) I worked for Anthropologie, Inc as a Brand Director of the Southeast Region. I worked several positions with them over the years from 2005-2019.
If you had to describe Moxie Mercantile in 3 words, what would they be?
Authentic, welcoming and community-centric.
What sets your store apart?
Hmmm…I feel like that is a tough question for me since I feel like it is an extension of myself and I’m just a woman living her dream!
We strive to be unique in our communities. We focus on independent artisans or brands that give back. Especially women-owned brands that suit our overall aesthetic.
How do you curate such a unique assortment of merchandise to sell?
I wish it were as easy as “I love it, so will everyone else,” but honestly, each item that goes into the shop has had a thoughtful process to assess its contribution to the store. Everything has to be a part of the bigger puzzle of the business. We strive to find unique items that you won’t see at neighboring shops.
What are a few must-have items at Moxie right now?
- Always Linnea’s Lights candles. Hands down these are the best.
- Pink Picasso Paint by Number kits–great social distancing activity that you can have forever when you are finished.
- Clothing! We have sourced a small amount of brands that give back to women in their communities and also make a darn great product. Our assortment is limited, but the impact of the purchase goes on and on!
How has Moxie evolved since opening in 2015?
Well, in 2015, it was my side hustle. I worked every single day between my “real” job and Moxie. Since March of 2019, I have had the opportunity to pour my time and energy into it, resulting in a high growth year for us. Considering I will only advertise through philanthropic efforts, our growth has been slow but authentic. Seeing the back half of last year really boost, I would say Moxie has evolved into a well-known (but still somewhat kept) secret.
You also offer retail and small-business consulting. Tell us a bit about that.
I do! I created Moxie Huddle to help small businesses get organized in their beginning phases. I particularly love working with makers and creators. Typically, artists undervalue their time and energy. I absolutely love to take over their organization/pricing strategies and apply efficiencies to allow them time to focus on what they do best (Create!). You can visit me at www.moxiehuddle.com
As a business owner, what is one piece of advice or lesson you have learned that you can share with other female entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs?
Know who you are and who your audience is. We can’t please everyone, and all the surrounding businesses are your allies. Community over competition is important to remember. You are never going to be “the only one” selling jewelry, coffee, pizza :), but if you stay true to yourself and your business, you will continue to have your place alongside your neighbors.
With the limited shop hours during the Stay-at-Home order, how can we shop Moxie now?
Moxiemercantile.com is up and running! We are taking and filling orders each day. One employee a day goes in and gets the orders filled, delivered or shipped! We offer front porch pick up in Midwood or we can organize a pick up in Davidson with some advanced planning. We really do appreciate all the support!!