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Meet Some of the Woman-Owned Brands in Charlotte Collective 

Introducing five of the brands that vend out of Charlotte Collective. Whether you're looking for a new outfit or fresh accessories, these vendors will always deliver.

Amy Crowe, Charlotte Collective 

Introducing the founder of Charlotte Collective, Amy Crowe! Founding Charlotte Collective happened by chance, when Amy was offered the chance to take over Savvy Bride’s lease for a month as Savvy moved locations. Though she was managing her fashion brand at the time, Worthy Figures, Amy knew she didn’t have enough merchandise to fill the store. However, she saw an opportunity in this predicament. She reached out to some fellow small business owners that she knew wanted to test out a storefront concept, and they proceeded to take the lease from Savvy Bride to see how their pop up would do. After the lease ended, Amy took a leap of faith and secured a storefront in Plaza Midwood, where Charlotte Collective officially began. In 2021, they opened their South End storefront. 

Over the years, Amy has worked hard to curate vendors that are a good fit for the store. When looking for brands to add to the collective, Amy notes that she searches for good quality vendors that love their business, are passionate, and are looking for a space for shoppers to come in and engage with their product. Currently, all of the brands within the store are woman-owned, which allows them to support each other in a unique way. Each vendor brings a deep understanding of what it’s like to operate a business as a woman through different stages of life, whether it’s working as a single woman, or a new mom. 

There are currently about 14 local businesses that sell out of Charlotte Collective, which many visitors may not realize upon their first time shopping in the store. Oftentimes, Amy says that customers think Charlotte Collective is one brand. The Charlotte Collective team and vendors alike work hard to curate a cohesive shopping experience that helps embody all things Charlotte. Almost all vendors work a few shifts at the storefront each month, which allows shoppers to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the brands. 

When asked what advice Amy would offer to young entrepreneurs, she encourages two major key elements. The first, she says, is to have a deep understanding of your numbers and finances. It can be fun to focus on the creative aspects, but Amy wants to remind young business owners that your finances will be what keeps you afloat. The second element is to know who you are. It can be hard to stay true to who your brand is, but if you can nail down what you’re passionate about and not deviate, it will take your business very far.

Emily Cardwell, 11 & Thoms 

Meet Emily Cardwell, the founder of 11 & Thoms! The jewelry brand started in 2019, when Emily and her husband were living in New York. After leaving her corporate job due to burnout, 11 & Thoms was born from the need for Emily to give back to herself and find out what sparks her passion. 

A fun fact about Emily’s brand is that the name pays homage to her grandmother and her husband. Emily has always associated the number 11 with her grandma, and she has seen that number throughout her life when things got tough or she needed a boost. Emily also always wanted to honor the bar in which she met her husband, called Professor Thoms. Thus, the name 11 & Thoms was conceived.

Emily prides her business on offering trendy, bold, and affordable jewelry. As accessory trends are ever-changing, she finds a lot of inspiration through learning about Gen Z fashion trends, and monitoring the styling for up-and-coming fashion brands. She ultimately credits living in New York for helping her get excited about new trends.

Emily’s advice to young entrepreneurs is to have a vision, believe in yourself, slow down if needed, and take small steps towards your goal. No stranger to burnout herself, Emily acknowledges the importance of assessing what you’re capable of giving each day, trusting your body, and knowing when it’s time to take care of yourself.

Chloe Pasour, Luca + B 

Introducing the brains behind Luca + B, Chloe Pasour! Everything about the store was inspired by Chloe’s two greyhounds, Luca and Banner. After adopting Luca, Chloe noticed that a lot of people were mistaking the girl dog for a boy. To remedy the situation at hand, Chloe began creating her own pink, frilly bandanas, collars, and leashes for her pup. Friends began asking Chloe to create bandanas for their dogs, thus the concept for Luca and B was born. 

As a former South End resident, Chloe loves the unique shopping opportunities that the neighborhood has to offer, from the Farmers Market, to the small business pop ups, to the brick-and-mortar stores. Chloe joined South End’s retail community as a vendor about a year after Luca + B’s conception.

You can find Luca + B in Charlotte Collective, or you can catch Chloe participating in pop ups such as Front Porch Sundays or Camden Commons! She loves getting involved in the community, chatting with shoppers, and of course, seeing the dogs of South End rock her bandanas. 

A piece of advice Chloe would offer to young entrepreneurs is to put yourself out there in terms of applying to stores and markets. She encourages young business owners to put themselves out there and have the drive to achieve their goals. 

Caroline Thomas, The Paper Dress 

Caroline Thomas is the entrepreneur behind The Paper Dress, an accessories company known for their bright, bold and colorful earrings. As a self-described lover of all things Art Deco, Caroline found a niche in the market when she couldn’t seem to find the exact pair of earrings she had been searching for. Inspired by her pursuit, she decided to try her hand at designing earrings herself. 

Caroline’s interest in entrepreneurship spans back to her childhood. As a young girl, she was always starting her own business endeavors - even selling caterpillars out of her pencil box in the second grade! So when the opportunity to begin her own business later in life presented itself, Caroline combined her passion for art and accessories and her education in Business Economics to begin The Paper Dress.

Aside from her location in Charlotte Collective, you can find Caroline popping up at street festivals such as Camden Commons or Front Porch Sundays. She loves participating in these events, as she feels as though she’s been able to create loyal customers through interacting with them in this capacity. 

When asked what advice she would give to young women entrepreneurs, Caroline said to trust your gut, don’t give up, and know that all downs in business will always be followed up with a good up. 

Ashley Bayles, The Village Collective 

Meet Ashley Bayles, the founder of The Village Collective! Originally from South Dakota, Ashley comes from a family in small business retail, which sparked her passion for the world of entrepreneurship. After getting married, Ashley and her partner relocated to an apartment in South End which served as her first introduction to the Queen City and the love it has for its local small businesses.

Ashley started The Village Collective as a way to help build a community of empowerment through clothes. She keeps her brand focused around the ideas of comfort and confidence, stating that as a mom herself, she personally searches for clothes that allow her to feel empowered while simultaneously being a great mother to her children. 

Village Co opened around the same time that Amy founded Charlotte Collective. Ashley had heard of Charlotte Collective, and eventually began vending out of their location in Plaza Midwood. The Village Collective has been featured in Charlotte Collective’s South End location for a little over a year now, and Ashley loves the way that the storefront has allowed her to connect with many other woman-owned businesses in the area.

One piece of advice Ashley would give to young entrepreneurs is to get started! Throughout her journey as an entrepreneur herself, Ashley learned that there is never a “right moment” to begin a career endeavor. Ashley believes that the best thing to do with your passion is to get started.