Tribune Tribute: Angela Day
Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter
When Ivy Ridge Traditions opened 13 years ago in North Wilkesboro, its owner, Angela Day, experienced a bit of anxiety.
“I didn’t know what to expect. We saw a building for sale and at that time made a goofy offer onto it,” said Day. “Then we were forced to do something with the building that we just bought. I had a booth at the old Wilcox Emporium, so I was already selling there. One thing led to another.”
Day said the name Ivy Ridge Traditions was developed with a garden inspiration.
“It’s really where Ivy Ridge came from. One day I just put the names together and that was it,” she said.
Ivy Ridge Traditions was formerly in a much larger retail location on the west side of Main Street in downtown Elkin.
“We closed the store for about a seven-month stretch, but that was because we wanted to be here in the Liberty and we had to wait for the building to be renovated,” said Day.
Growing up a Wilkes County student, Day said she was always serious about school and strong work ethic. Business would be a natural fit.
“When I turned 16, I went to the local A & P and I went to work. I’ve just always worked,” she said.
Day eventually made her way to Appalachian State University.
“It was kind of funny. I started off as a marketing major and hated it. I then switched to getting into social work. Things kind of blended in together and worked out from there and here I am,” said Day smiling.
According to Day, owning a business is tough and the successful small business owners are the ones like her who forfeit a salary for years.
“I took out a loan. I did not take a salary for six years. I did my homework getting ready for the business. I actually worked a part-time job to make ends meet,” said Day.
A single mom, Day has two children and smiles when saying that they’re both college-driven.
“Hey, it’s not easy doing all of this stuff in your 40s. You have to raise a family. You have to take risk in business. No, I don’t get to return the stuff I buy and showcase. Once I buy it, it immediately becomes my problem. I can’t order one of any item either. When I buy, I have to buy $300 worth of items,” said Day.
Regardless of the risk, Day is all-in with Elkin. The friendly-faced business owner did have recommendations on stimulating the downtown business climate.
“I think we really need to look at attracting more out-of-town people. We can do that by having more consistent hours downtown,” said Day. “People are not going to come here from long distances for shopping that takes them in-and-out of a couple of stores under 20 minutes.”
According to Day, people have been conditioned to think that downtown closes up shop at 5 p.m.
“It’s going to take a while to break that culture. I also don’t want to see myself as the only business open on a Saturday with a couple of restaurants. That will not attract shoppers,” she said.
Ivy Ridge Traditions is on Facebook. The store is most notably known for jewelry, fashion, name-brand purses and crafts. The store is located at 222 E. Main St.
“Each item we sell offers a complimentary gift wrapping, which is perfect for the holiday season,” said Day.
Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 835-1513 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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