Retail entrepreneur Novi Paluch will be opening her new boutique on Allen Street in coming days. A decade ago, Novi opened a small retail shop – Sasmita Batik – inside the Market Arcade, before venturing out on her own in a small downtown Main Street location. But the foot traffic was tough on Main Street, which became crystal clear when an old friend came a callin’.
“Buffalo Barkery relocated to Allen Street from the Market Arcade,” Novi told me. “When they heard that a space was opening down the street, they let me know. It’s four times bigger than my original location, which is very exciting, because it will allow me to expand my merchandise. I’m going to be adding Indonesian furniture to my inventory. Allen Street is very exciting these days – there’s a lot more foot traffic. It’s a great move for me.”
I can personally attest to the budding vibrancy along Allen Street. I just got back from an impromptu shopping excursion on the street, where I picked up a winter jacket at Trend Up, and a pair of one-off sneakers at Allentown Vibes. There is now a healthy faction of retailers that are making a good go of it, including the recently arrived Incarnata Textile Studio & Vintage Boutique.
Beyond the evolving story of Allentown (at least this latest incarnation) is the story of a handful of small businesses that started their journey within a downtown incubator of sorts. Sasmita Batik… Trend Up… Buffalo Barkery… they all got their start at the Market Arcade, which, in some manner, aligned themselves together. Similar to the ways that family members stick together, these business owners have managed to help each other along, in a way that is utterly endearing. Now they are all going to be together once again, on a street that will greatly benefit from their joint cooperative mindset.
Ultimately, this is a success story with fairytale-like formations. At the same time, it’s the real world – with real world battles, successes and accomplishments, and, in this case, a happy ending. Fortunately, this happy ending comes in the form of a reboot for Novi, who will soon be joining her friends for yet another adventure… an adventure that will count on the ongoing support from a community that continues to rally behind small businesses.
Sasmita Batik is scheduled to open this coming Friday.