In January 2020, Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce’s President Chris Dotson and Executive Director Randall Sanger began a conversation about creating a retail co-op type of space in downtown Williamson. After two years, the opportunity to form this new retail shopping space presented itself.
Randall stopped by First National Bank in Williamson and during a casual conversation with bank president Charley McCoy, it was discovered that the bank wanted to reduce their size, but they weren’t sure what they could do with the large space which housed some bank tellers and cubicles. Randall immediately mentioned the retail co-op idea and from there the wheels began to turn quickly.
Charley presented the idea to the bank and shortly after a lease agreement was signed by the TVCC and First National Bank.
From the TVCC side, Chris and Randall knew they wanted to bring additional retail shopping to downtown Williamson and they also wanted The Collective to serve as a small business incubator which would allow aspiring small business owners to get their feet underneath them before venturing out to their own brick and mortar shop. A few short weeks later and many hours of work, The Collective Retail and Artisan Shops came to life.
On Friday, October 14th, The Collective celebrated their grand opening. One ribbon was cut and eight new small businesses welcomed shoppers.
The Collective features the following shops:
Southern Mercantile, LLC, Twisted Sisters Creations, CC Coffee and Tea Interest, Steadfast Children’s Boutique, Gift Nation Personalization, White Daisy Boutique, Maple Grove Books, LLC, and The Sanger Gallery.
The Collective is located at 68 E. 2nd Avenue Williamson. This space was formerly the bank lobby, and prior to that Hobbs Department Store. Yes, the space has gone full circle by returning to a retail establishment. The bank remains open on 2nd Avenue with a smaller, more streamlined space, while The Collective is open for business right next door.
The shops are open Monday through Thursday from 10 am-7pm, Friday 10 am-8am, and Saturday 11am-8pm.
The TVCC has adopted the slogan, “Let’s go to town!” for the shops. Most residents of the area know, “going to town” always meant going to Williamson. Now, the TVCC hopes to bring back the time of coming to town to shop and eat. Make time to visit The Collective and as the TVCC says, “Let’s go to town to shop local, eat local, and support local!”
Find The Collective on Facebook and follow the page, as well as all of the businesses listed!
Stay tuned for articles on all of the new shops at The Collective Retail and Artisan Shops!