In a world ruled by technology and the internet, you would think that opening a small brick and mortar shop is a frivolous trip down failure lane. The odds against success seem to be pretty high, and yet I decided to ignore those perceived odds and take the plunge into small business ownership. I left a secure job at the local college, gathered all my modest resources, and went to work on my business plan. In September 2016, the doors of Wit & Whimzy opened at 152 Front Street, and I never looked back.
These past months have been a roller coaster of excitement, nervousness, stress and long hours. Throughout, I have experienced the support and good will of both the community and my fellow merchants, and I am confident that my decision was the right one. Marietta, Ohio is a great place—to live, work, dine, shop and have fun—and I’m very proud of my Front Street address.
Downtown Marietta features a diverse mix of shops and small businesses; you will find shops that have been operating for decades alongside those who just opened in recent months. The dining venues run the gamut from coffee shop to brewery to upscale restaurant. And across every threshold you’ll meet an owner who pours their passion, time and resources into keeping their business alive and keeping Marietta vibrant.
When you shop local and patronize a small business, you are keeping dreams alive. The dream of owning a business, the dream of an artisan to have their products featured, and the dream of a community to have a thriving downtown that enhances their quality of life. Can you imagine the city of Marietta without its downtown district? If you’ve visited other cities and towns the size of Marietta, you probably already realize how lucky we are. Many would love to have our attractive streets and small businesses instead of their empty sidewalks and vacant buildings.
We are indeed lucky. But that luck consists of hard work, devotion, and the mutual collaboration between business and community. I will open my door to you, day after day and season to season. I will seek out artisans and other small business people throughout the U.S. to bring you quality, unique items that are hand crafted and domestically produced. I will engage with the city and community to support local charities, participate in special events and enhance your downtown experience. In return, all I ask is that you spend some time downtown, get to know your merchants and small businesses, and see what a big impact you can make by shopping local.
If you already shop downtown and support local businesses, I thank you. If you don’t, I invite you to give us a try. Spend some time getting to know the merchants, seeing what the businesses have to offer, and I guarantee you’ll see Marietta through a different lens. And I bet you’ll make shopping local part of your routine---a win for all of us.
This article was authored by Laura Pytlik, Owner of Wit & Whimzy located on Front Street in historic downtown Marietta.