Lauren Hancock decided she wanted to open a new activewear store partly because of her experience helping to manage a Lululemon Athletica pop-up shop at The Forum last year.
An international retailer that sells yoga-inspired athletic clothing, Lululemon Athletica had opened a pop-up in the shopping center on Military Cutoff Road based on the company’s Internet traffic from the Wilmington area, a previous Greater Wilmington Business Journal story
For Hancock, local interest in the brand shown by online sales played out in real life at the temporary store and ultimately helped inspire her to go into an athletic apparel business for herself, she said.
“That is really when the light bulb, I feel like, went off is when I saw just how much excitement I felt – we had so many people come in on a regular basis always wanting to know what we were getting in," Hancock said. "And I just felt like it’s such an active community – I started counting up the amount of gyms, and pilates studios, yoga studios, crossfit, all of the SUP [stand-up paddleboarding] competitions and marathons that we have all the time.”
So Hancock opened Thrive Activewear recently in about 1,000 square feet in No. A-4 at Crosspoint Plaza, 7110 Wrightsville Ave. She is holding a grand opening celebration at her new business from 11 a.m. to 6 pm. Saturday.
In addition to clothing and accessories for runners and yoga enthusiasts, including Lululemon Athletica products, the Thrive store offers Young Living Essential Oils, Beautycounter skincare products, and by-appointment yoga instruction.
P.J. Doherty, a broker with Carolina Commercial Investment Properties, represented Hancock in the lease transaction for the Crosspoint Plaza space. Hancock said she knew about the center because she lives nearby and also has been inspired in her effort to start a new business by another store in the plaza, Soul Shoetique.
“Then when I saw this place come up for rent, I just felt like this is an up-and-coming little area. There’s a bunch of construction going on,” Hancock said, citing the Grand View apartments project under way just before the bridge to Wrightsville Beach as one example. “Several years down the road, it’s going to be very bustling right here.”