219 E. Commercial Street
It’s that age old cliche. Location, location, location! But when Charity Evans moved her interior design business, Refine Studios, into its new home on C-Street, the location was less than desirable at the time. “People saw the area as kind of dangerous and run down,” Evans says. What they didn’t see was C-Street’s untapped potential and unscathed historic buildings. But that’s what drew Evans to Commercial Street and into the the two-story brick building she moved into. To create a blank canvas that would showcase her flare for design, Evans left the exposed brick untouched and painted the walls a bright white, which let the building’s original tin ceiling pop.
“It’s critical to develop your identity as a company and let your space help tell that story,” says Grooms account executive Victoria Gorham. “Imagine allowing employees and customers to get a feel for your culture as soon as they walk into your space. That’s exactly what your furniture and decor help convey.”
For Evans, her story is all about culture, and she wanted a building that reflected that. “Even the street itself provides that,” she says. As C-Street’s business community has grown, Evans has benefited. The real estate investors who bought the building she leases converted the upstairs lofts into Airbnb rentals. When it was time to decorate, they hired Evans and enlisted her help managing the properties. She’s also teamed up with the owners of the Savoy Ballroom. When they host weddings, they direct the bridal party to Evan’s storefront, which she rents out as an event space for gatherings like bridal showers. “There’s a lot of opportunities for businesses to collaborate,” she says. “Everyone roots for each other because we all want the street as a whole to succeed.”