Downtown Albany business helping to launch others

Video from WALB
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 7:18 PM EDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - A new retail business in downtown Albany is using their space to help other small businesses grow.

Kawambee Dorsey is one of the owners of The Showroom. Just two months after opening, they started letting three small business owners display their products for one month. Reflecting on when she started her own.

Kawambee Dorsey is the co owner of the Showroom.
Kawambee Dorsey is the co owner of the Showroom.(WALB)

“Just knowing how it is. To want to have a space, but not knowing if this is the right time or the right move. Just to see what it feels like to be in a store,” said Dorsey.

One of those vendors is Jonita Coleman. She makes handmade signs. What started as a hobby and gifts to friends and family slowly turned into a business called Tresca’s Treasures.

“People started questioning me ‘how much do you sell this for’, and I thought will people really buy this stuff?” said Coleman.

The showroom is hosting three other small businesses each month.
The showroom is hosting three other small businesses each month.(WALB)

Using social media, her website, and platforms like ETSY when she heard about the opportunity at the showroom, she was one of the first to sign up.

“It has been nothing short of amazing,” said Coleman.

Before her display in The Showroom, she was selling 10-15 signs per month. One month at the Showroom, and her sales have increased 292%

“I am swamped because these items are handcrafted,” said Coleman.

Instead of getting business mostly from friends and family, now she’s shipping to strangers.

Jonita Coleman is a vendor at Showroom.
Jonita Coleman is a vendor at Showroom.(WALB)

“I’ve shipped orders as far as California this month. It really gave me a confidence boost,” said Coleman.

The showroom will house three vendors each month. Dorsey said this is a way for small businesses to gain some insight into what it takes before potentially opening their own space.

“Hopefully, we can keep this thing going. It’s all about building the community and each other up.”

Vendors do pay a small fee to be in The Showroom, but they get 100% of the money from the sales they make.

The Showroom is located on Front Street in downtown Albany. They are open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

The last day Tresca’s Treasures will be at The Showroom is Saturday, July 30.

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