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Downtown success story

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April 4, 2007

Albany   --   There's been a lot of talk lately of the Exodus in Downtown Albany. Businesses opening up and leaving have shed a bad light on the downtown community. But some business owners say downtown is thriving. 

A&K Fashions has been open on Broad Avenue for about three years and they expect many more years of success.   

"We love downtown Albany.  We're doing great here." If you want a hat, purse, suit, even a wig, Ella Woodard, the owner of A&K Fashions is your go to person.   

"They want to look different, they want to be different, and we offer that look."   

She opened her store, A&K Fashions on Broad Avenue about three years ago.  Since that day, business has boomed.  "Great, really great.  We are just flourishing."   

Flourishing at a time when some other retailers haven't necessarily found their niche.  Woodard says it's all about what you offer.  "I think you always need to have a supply and demand type of business.  I think we have a demand for what we sell, and because of what we sell, we have a supply of people."   

And when those people stop by, they offer their own advice for business success. "When people come in they tell you what they like and do not like about your store."   

And she takes those words to heart, and says it breaks her heart that she may one day have to leave Downtown--  but for a good reason.  "We need more room.  And that's why if we ever left, we would just need to expand to offer more."   

Ella Woodard says her two most popular items for sale are hats, for Sunday morning church services and real hair wigs for survivors of cancer.  

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