Two New Downtown Raleigh Retailers Receive DRA Up-Fit Grants

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance proudly awarded two retail up-fit grants this holiday season as part of its mission to attract new retailers to downtown Raleigh. The Art of Style and Emily & Co. both opened their doors this fall.

DRA has now awarded nine different stores with the up-fit grant, which incentivizes and attracts new retail businesses to downtown Raleigh and helps existing businesses expand.

The Art of Style, a clothing boutique for both men and women, opened on Hargett Street in September. Their selection includes modern, clean, and classic clothing that fits all aspects of life including professional attire. Owner Kendra Leonard says she jumped at the opportunity to open storefront in downtown.

“We knew we wanted to call downtown Raleigh home,” Leonard says. “This grant from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance lets us know we made the right decision. DRA is making us feel at home. This grant tells us that we are wanted here, and by giving retailers this grant, the DRA is telling other small business owners that downtown is ready to welcome them, too.”

Emily Cochran, owner of Emily & Co. echoes those sentiments.

“Opening a new storefront is a very nerve-wracking process. Having the support of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance–and the opportunity to receive a grant–alleviates some of the stress. It is affirming and validating to know that someone else believes in me!”

Emily & Co. is a one-stop-shop for interior design on Hillsborough Street. They carry a selection of new furniture to fill out a room and offer re-upholstery and design services as well.

Bill King, the senior director of economic development with DRA says a strong retail mix is part of what makes downtown Raleigh such a special place.

“Downtown is home to a large and growing concentration of independent, local retailers. And we are adding more diversity to our retail mix with clothing stores, home furnishings, and necessities that make this a more livable downtown. With nine grants awarded in the past year, DRA is committed to helping local retailers thrive here and make this an even better downtown.”

Art of Style and Emily & Co. join previous Up-Fit Grand recipients Raleighwood Provisions, Glenwood South Pharmacy and Market, Briggs Hardware, Unleashed City Market, Port of Raleigh, Gypsy Jule, and Retro Modern Furnishings.

Lisa Jeffries

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