For Scout Clothing and Decor owner Hanna Sinderbrand, 25, dreams do come true.
After two successful years at the corner of Atlantic and Little Rock avenues in Ventnor, the Margate resident finally made the move to the small shopping district of downtown Margate.
And although the locations are separated by less than two miles, both Sinderbrand and her fiance Jeff Newcomer find that the move has made a world of difference.
"We're just amazed every day by the difference between the stores," said Sinderbrand, a 2005 Holy Spirit High School graduate.
"We've noticed a huge influx of business, all new customers. A lot of people did not notice that we were over there."
But people seem to be taking notice now.
Shelly Berman walked in to pay a compliment to Sinderbrand.
"I live in Margate. I'm glad you opened," she told her. "Your aura is very free-spirited, for even the older wacky woman like myself who likes that free-spirited look."
For Berman or even a longtime customer, walking into the 7817 Ventnor Ave. location, the same feel is there.
Standing in the middle of her new shop, Sinderbrand recalled going on routine shopping trips with her mother as the seasons changed to places such as Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. These stores were located in Philadelphia, an hour away from her hometown.
"If we could do a little part to help the girls that were me and my mom and my sister," said Sinderbrand, "we all wanted that (space to shop)."
On a recent Wednesday afternoon, music played in the background of the new boutique, assorted candy lined the window, and eclectic finds - from coated Henry and Belle skinny jeans to downy homemade American flag-printed blankets - fill every open space.
Moving from the alley-style shop to the 1,400-square-foot former East End Art Gallery has allowed the young shop owner to display new brands, including Free People and Cheap Money, as well as new merchandise, from fashion and art-related coffee table books to organic bath products.
"We didn't have a lot of room before," she said. "This store is very wide and spaced out."
Newcomer, the official handyman of the shop, has started to make custom furniture items to sell, a venture they initiated in the old store, but on a much smaller scale.
"We wanted to make it very consistent so people had the same feeling when they came into our old store," she said.
Details from the Atlantic Avenue location made for additions to her new one.
Leftover American quilts, once for sale, now serve as hanging curtains for her three dressing rooms. More space allowed for a comfortable area to try on clothes, away from the front entrance, as well as a relaxing setup of couches "for the husbands and boyfriends," Newcomer said.
The Ventnor location was merely a stepping stone, Sinderbrand said. When the opportunity arose to relocate, she took it.
But the transition from one location to the next was not as easy at it looked.
Sinderbrand took the help of Newcomer and her entire family, including parents Steve and Pam, to begin demolition at the new store in early October. They tore the entire place down to brick, they said.
"We started at a really hard time - as soon as Sandy hit, we lost a lot of our contractors," Sinderbrand said. "We had to rely a lot on our own skills, so it was really a big hands-on experience."
With one foot of water in her new spot, the young business owner had to start from scratch, being certain to do it the right way.
As of early February, the store was able to open its doors, just a few months off schedule.
Sinderbrand stood behind her custom countertop - constructed by Newcomer with refurbished wood from the original shop's window frames and from an attic of an old Brigantine home - excited to help customers scout for a new outfit.
She was animated, anticipating her first summer season in her new location. She expects to host fashion-related Do It Yourself nights with themes such as jewelry making and jean decorating.
Sinderbrand also hopes to invite local musicians to play sets, and to extend the invitation to include her neighboring businesses to create after-hours sidewalk events.
For now, Sinderbrand will have to await the summer months, keeping inventory fresh and maintaining her "dream location."
Scout Clothing and Decor is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit scoutclothinganddecor.com, find them on Instagram or call 609-823-1024.
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