By Pete Smith
Mary & Martha’s Exceedingly Chic Boutique has been a fixture on Carmel’s Main Street for the past ten years.
It has survived years of construction and change in the Arts & Design District, but owner Laura Shattuck said a recent decline in foot traffic has forced her to reconsider her options.
“The traffic is really reduced over the past few years in the Arts & Design District,” Shattuck said. “I would love to have seen other retail thrive here.”
And when she thought about a strong collection of small retail businesses that thrive in close proximity, she set her sights on Zionsville.
Now Mary & Martha’s plans to close its Carmel location sometime after Mother’s Day (May 11) and relocate to the Potpourri Building at 110 N. Main St. in Zionsville. It will open its doors in Zionsville in April.
But it’s not without some hesitation.
“We have done everything we can possibly do to stay,” Shattuck said. “Honestly, if the traffic were here I would never leave.”
But Shattuck is hoping her 1,500 customers will follow her to the new location.
“We’re taking our lines to Zionsville,” she said. “We’ll be the only Pandora jewelry dealer in Zionsville.”
Shattuck said she’s most excited about how people park and walk up and down Main Street in Zionsville. The city’s support of local small business is just an added incentive.
“The same great fit and customer service that shoppers have come to expect from Mary & Martha’s will only be bigger there.”
But not the rent. Shattuck said she would cut her rent costs in half with the move.
For a small family-run business, sometimes the bottom line has to trump geography.
“We feel Zionsville is another quaint community where we’ll do well,” she said.