SHIRLEY — With the closing of multiple local businesses including Shirley Foods and Star Financial Bank, the town of Shirley Indiana took a hard economic hit in 2017.
But one staple of the Main Street community is making a comeback.
After shuttering its doors last February, Shirley Hardware Store is slated to reopen by the first of April, said the store’s new owner, Evan Roberts. In addition to the hardware selection, the north side of the shop will become a new store called Main Street Boutique, Roberts said.
Roberts said the new store will continue to offer home improvement tools and building supplies while storing lumber and other materials in its warehouse. The new Shirley Hardware store will supply local farmers, landscapers and contractors in the area, Roberts said.
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Roberts closed the deal on the 5,000-square-foot building last week, purchasing the store and its contents for $90,000. Approximately 1,500 square feet will be devoted to the boutique, which will be run by his wife, Roberts said.
Roberts, an auctioneer and owner of Roberts Auction Services, recognized the potential for reviving the hometown hardware spot while researching statistics on Shirley’s economic needs.
“I’m a numbers guy, so before I do anything, I do the analytics of the community,” Roberts said. “Within a five minute drive of this location, we found there was $460,000 dollars in demand for this community.”
Brittany Roberts, his wife, said she is looking forward to having her own work space as she kicks off Main Street Boutique. She has dabbled in small town retail before, having run a booth at Greenfield’s Burdock Boutiques before the fire last October.
Her new location will offer goods for men and women of all ages, she said. The hometown shop will sell home decor items, antiques, hand-crafted goods, accessories and clothes from a number of clothing lines, she said.
The renovation process has been taxing, but the Robertses are looking forward to tackling the challenge ahead of them, she said.
“Definitely remodeling is more of a challenge than we were expecting,” Brittany Roberts said. “Right now, we’re making sure we can get it all fixed and cleaned up for business.”
Town council vice president Becky Perkins said the town will certainly benefit from having two Main Street businesses rise from the ashes of one. The support of the community has and will be vital to their success, she added.
Shirley Hardware gives residents a convenient option to get the nuts and bolts they need for repairs or home improvement without having to drive all the way to Wilkinson or Knightstown, Perkins said. A new boutique will hopefully bring in customers from outside of town to explore the inventory, she added.