SPOKANE, Wash. - With the increasing number of dead malls in America and the continued closing of retail outlets here in Spokane, there's been some concern over how to keep our own malls from following suit. From opening a public library to an interactive aquarium, attempts to repurpose the space and enrich the community are on-going. The pandemic hit businesses especially hard, with giants like Macy's closing it's NorthTown storefront this January. But local businesses have been struggling, too.
That's where husband and wife duo and owners of BeYOUtiful Bath Bombs & More, Grant and Jessie Veselka, came up with the idea of creating a local market in the common area of NorthTown Mall last February. "With all events and shows being canceled for local businesses, and our business being in the mall and seeing all the open space we had available to us, I thought it would be perfect!" Jessie told us.
The BeYOUtiful Local Market has been running every weekend from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., November through April, since then. Local vendors of all sorts fill the space, from peanut brittle treats to custom woodworking to bonsai trees and more, bringing much needed commerce and revenue. It benefits not only the vendors that attend, but the restaurants and shops inside NorthTown, too.
Ultimately, however, the goal is to use the empty space and high traffic area to benefit the Spokane community. They stress the importance of shopping local and supporting local businesses. "NorthTown is our neighborhood mall, and it should be filled with local small businesses that care about our community," Veselka said.