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CLT Find was created to bring quality retail to Charlotte's uptown while supporting over 80 makers, artists & creatives in the region. Our goal is to help both visitors and locals "find" the perfect souvenir, gift item, tasty treat, accessory, or anything in between. CLT (Charlotte) Find was founded by two friends, Toni South and Christy Pope after discovering a shared love for Charlotte micro business. As consumers & makers themselves, Toni & Christy believe that products made in small batches with love & attention to detail are usually the most unique and best quality options available.
We love the constant stream of diverse patrons in the market. Tourists, locals, and people of all ages and interests can be found enjoying something unique that 7th Street Public Market has to offer. Despite the casual vibe and shared space, we 100% vouch that some of the BEST menu items in the entire city are being served right here. You don't have to spend a lot of money or get dressed up to experience culinary quality & talent!
In September 2020, CLT Find was awarded a grant from the Center City Small Business Innovation Fund to help the business adapt to the effects of COVID-19. This grant will provide resources to help this popular Market business thrive in our new reality.
How has COVID-19 affected your business?
CLT Find started inside the 7th Street Public Market in 2017 and grow to a second shop a couple years later. Most of its sales were face-to-face with the shoppers who came through the 7th Street Public Market daily. When COVID-19 forced the Market to shut-down its operations, shoppers turned online. CLT Find learned fast that it needed to change their business model. "We moved about 80% of our inventory into our homes and simply began posting items for sale on social media," says co-owner Christy Pope, who runs the business with Toni South. So they started posting gift baskets and local gifts on Instagram and Facebook, selling what they could through those platforms. "We started making custom gift boxes for birthdays, Mother's Day, and graduation and realized we have quite a market for the boxes. We were shipping upwards of 50 boxes a day on a great day," Christy says. We realized that our customers absolutely love customized gifts and we needed a way to offer this service safely moving forward."
What innovation did you use in your grant application?
CLT Find's goal for the Innovation Fund grant included creating a new website to make shopping easier and more efficient. The owners are working with local videography and tech companies to build "how-to" videos for the new website and their social media channels. "We are very excited about the videos being filmed through The Littlefield Company, which will better explain and introduce our concept to new customers and hopefully bring in a whole new fan base," Christy says. With this new website, shoppers will be able to view pre-made gift boxes or set up a virtual shopping appointment. Just let them know your price range and they will take you on a live video tour of the shop in the Market to pick out your local gifts!
What does getting this grant mean to your business?
While CLT Find has reopened inside the Market, life is far from back to normal. Having a stronger e-commerce presence will help the business compete with larger retailers. "We are incredibly grateful for the Charlotte Center City Small Business Innovation Fund and the opportunity to shift CLT Find to accommodate more web sales, custom virtual interactions and to expand our client base so that we can continue to thrive and support the 90 local brands sold through our shop," Christy says.