The grand opening of Sydney Slaska's clothing store in Porters Neck, previously set to take place this weekend, is on hold indefinitely as a result of measures to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
But Slaska remains excited about her plans to run her own high-end women's clothing boutique, Cloth + Design.
She leased 1,400 square feet of space at Porters Neck Center for Cloth + Design, and her address is Unit BB, 8211 Market St., which was formerly occupied by clothing and gift store Honeybee.
"The good thing about retail is that you can launch it online," Slaska said Tuesday. "I'm still getting my store ready so when we can open our doors, we can open them along with everybody else."
Recent state and local orders regarding the novel coronavirus shut down non-essential businesses. The New Hanover County order that remains in place until at least April 13 requires non-essential retail to close.
"All stores, indoor or outdoor shopping malls, and retail facilities that that do not provide goods that are essential for health, sustenance, shelter, mobility, and hygiene shall close all in-person shopping areas to the public," the order stated. "Delivery and curb-side service may be implemented or continued."
Slaska said Tuesday, "I'm hoping within the next two weeks I'll have my online store launched. . . . I'm going to have to market a little bit harder, which is perfectly fine with me. I love marketing and dipping my toes into new things."
Slaska grew up in the Brunswick County town of Ocean Isle Beach, and her last retail job was at clothing and accessories boutique Ann Paige in Morehead City.
Overall, she has worked in retail for nine years. By July 2019, "I was ready to take the chance for myself instead of running somebody else's business," she said.
While the coronavirus pandemic put her brick-and-mortar opening on hold, Slaska said her other options are personal shopping, virtual shopping and local and nationwide deliveries.
She is updating Cloth + Design's Facebook page and Instagram account, @clothanddesign.com.
"At the end of the day, I feel like everything happens for a reason," she said. "I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be right now, and I'm not losing hope at all."
With the lease from Cloth + Design, Porters Neck Center was 100% occupied, said Nicholas Silivanch of Eastern Carolinas Commercial Real Estate, who represented the landlord in the lease. Cody Cress and Tyler Pegg of The CRESS Group of Coldwell Banker Commercial Sun Coast Partners represented the tenant.