Just in time for Valentine’s Day, two stores have opened at The Meadows – Intimate Whispers and Campbell Creek Plain & Simple – located in renovated spaces along a newly opened hallway that once housed Stein Mart.
Intimate Whispers, a new venture, is an intimate apparel boutique. And, located next door, Campbell Creek sells homemade and all-natural soaps, lotions, bath/body products and more; it was previously located downtown at Fifth Street and Wabash Avenue.
Intimate Whispers is owned by Roni Elder and her mother, Becky Rozina. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
The store had its grand opening on January 15. “I feel so proud and blessed to see this all fall into place,” Elder said. “I’ve wanted to own a boutique for years, so to finally do it and get positive feedback is so amazing.”
While she previously served as a health educator for the Vigo County Health Department for about three years, Elder has a bachelor’s degree in fashion and retail management. She hopes the store will help fill the void left by the closure of Victoria’s Secret in Haute City Center.
The reception so far “has been good. A lot of people have come in just to check it out,” Elder said. “We actually had sales every day we were open, so I feel like that’s a big win.”
Hours will be adjusted as needed, and Sunday hours may be added at some point.
She also assesses what customers are looking for. “We want to deliver what people want,” she said. “We are open to suggestions.”
According to Elder, the store specializes in women’s underwear, pajamas, and some women’s clothing; it also sells maternity bras. The store has a small selection of men’s boxers and socks.
In terms of product brands, Elder tries to use smaller companies “that care about the environment and support the LGBTQ community,” she said.
A Colombian brand (South America) manufactures lingerie from recycled plastic water bottles; the material is very soft, she says. “When you smell it, you have no idea (it’s made from recycled plastic). It’s so luxurious.”
She also sells bamboo sleepwear, again very soft.
The company offers brands for larger or smaller sizes that are hard to find. “We really try to have something for everyone,” she said. And if the store doesn’t have it, they can order it.
Everything the store offers is also on its website, and delivery is now available.
One thing the store has focused on is using other local small businesses to build the store: window decals and logo are by Ace Sign & Awning; dressing room curtains – Ace Blind & Drapery and Barbara Kraus; flooring — Georgia Carpet by Osborn; collection, cabinets and counters – Superior kitchen and bathroom; and shelves – cupboards inspired.
“We tried to keep everything local, and everyone did an amazing job,” Elder said. His family was also instrumental in helping him open the business.
She and her mother chose to set up the business at The Meadows because of “foot traffic and the safety of not being alone. We didn’t have a business before, so we knew we needed foot traffic and word of mouth to help us do business,” said Elder.
According to Elder, if people are looking for something in particular, they can always message the store via Facebook (Intimate Whispers) or Instagram (intimatewhispersboutique).
Campbell Creek Plain & Single
Campbell Creek Plain & Simple, owned by Jessica Fields, is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It opened on Tuesday.
It was formerly located in Fifth and Wabash as the Campbell Creek Artisan Shop.
The artisan shop used all local locals and artists for its wares. “Here I still make all the soaps, lotions and bath and body products, but we also brought in other things from other people who are not local, but everything is made in the United States,” said she declared.
The only items that aren’t made in the United States are some of the children’s puzzles, she said. One of the puzzles is a family of T-rex dinosaurs that you can do together. This fits Fields’ goal of keeping things “straightforward and simple…instead of being on the phone all the time. You can put together a puzzle with a kid or a grandkid.”
The store’s products also include beard balm and oil, bath bombs, candles, and jewelry.
The bath and body items she makes are all-natural – free of chemicals, preservatives and dyes.
Fields teaches history at Indiana State University and Ivy Tech and sees the side business as future retirement work.
When she teaches, the people who run the store are her aunt, Debbie Cole, and her father, Greg Fields; both are retired and volunteer.
Jessica Fields ran the business downtown for three years, though she’s been making her own bath and body products for about 10 years. She is also a vendor at the Terre Haute Farmer’s Market.
“I am thrilled to join The Meadows family,” she said. “We’re all about family.” In addition, the shopping center is “very welcoming. You feel very comfortable there”.
Sycamore Ace Hardware, which opened Jan. 31, is also up and running in the former Stein Mart space.
On the ground floor, Phoenix Elite, a gym and fitness center, is also open.
Mark Zimmerly, one of the owners of The Meadows, said this week: “We have other prospects” for some of the other spaces available in the renovated former areas of Stein Mart.
The brickwork continues on the hallway floor to the newly opened upstairs.
Anyone interested in the new retail spaces can contact Zimmerly at 812-208-4790.
Sue Loughlin can be reached at 812-231-4235 or [email protected] Follow Sue on Twitter @TribStarSue.