INPROCESS to open in Woodville MallWritten by Vincent D. Scebbi | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Although the store is still a project in process, Jackie Grey and Cindy Below’s store in Woodville Mall is expected to open April 30.
The store is a blend of a variety of ideas, ranging from a market that recruits and sells the work of local artists, two dance studios, a bookstore and a coffee shop.
“I want a place where people can come and either sell their creative artistic wares, or be creative and artistic in their dance, it’s probably mostly about creativity and artistry and just wellness,” Grey said. “That is wellness, being creative.”
INPROCESS started as a small business where local artists could sell their work, grew with the addition of the dance studio that offers zumba and belly dancing, and expanded to the coffee shop and bookstore behind the initial space. The store is still looking for instructors in ballet and yoga.
Grey said she and Below have been working to reach out to the local artists by meeting them at shows such as Artomatic419! Word has been spreading quickly.
“We went out to Sylvania the other day and found out they already heard about us. It was through another artist who is putting her photography on display here, but still. Every once in a while I’ll get an email from someone saying they were interested in our store and then in comes more art.”
Grey and Below were both working for Behavioral Connections of Wood County. Below was laid off last summer and Grey was only working part time. The two talked about their business idea and “we just decided to go for it. So we both jumped.”
Although they plan to open soon, Below said the store will always be changing because of new artists coming in to sell their work, this concept of constant fluctuation inspired the store’s name.
With its grand opening set for April 30, INPROCESS is one of 30 new small businesses opening at Woodville Mall by May, and businesses are continuing to express interest.
Juanita Jones, manager of Woodville Mall, said when she first was hired, the mall was desolate. However, during her tenure, she now has 35 total leases.
“It literally brought tears to my eyes when I saw how many people were walking through the mall. I’m telling you, it’s coming alive,” Jones said. “This community has embraced me with open arms. I give it my all and they encourage me, they’re happy and they are definitely seeing a change that this mall is coming back.”
Jones said one of the biggest incentives for local businesses starting at Woodville is the cheap rent, offering opportunities for entrepreneurs such as Grey and Below.
“This is a great opportunity for people who would want to open up a business,” she said. “We’re giving people the opportunity to do that and our prices are so reasonable. It opens up big doors for people to do some things.”
Jones’ work to turn the once empty mall around includes monthly events such as “the biggest farmers market,” involving farmers from the east side area of Toledo and summer car shows.
She added she is investing in her mall by opening her own restaurant that blends Southern-style soul food with Italian.