New children's clothier Three Gents and relocated floral shop Fleurish are sharing a handsomely remodeled corner shop across North Main Street from the courthouse in downtown Statesboro.
Both celebrated their grand opening Friday evening during Main Street Statesboro's First Friday event for June.
For two businesses under separate ownership to share a single downtown Statesboro storefront is becoming a trend.
The coffee shop Cool Beanz and the bakery Cake, featured here in April, share a place on East Main. From there, a walk past City Hall and around the corner at Courthouse Square will bring you to Fleurish/Three Gents.
Fleurish, the shop owned by florist Tray Anderson, has been thriving in Statesboro for almost two years. Before that, Anderson operated his flower shop for about three years in Sylvania. This is his third location in Statesboro.
"I love this building. It's the building that I've always wanted," Anderson said. "Even when I started in Sylvania, I've always wanted a building like this, with the character and the charm, and we've done a lot of work with this one to get it to where it's more like the original building that was here."
The landlords cooperated because they too were interested in restoration, he explained.
Anderson is best known for designing flowers for weddings and other celebratory events. But Fleurish is a full-service floral shop, with flowers for all occasions from to dates to funerals, and for people who just want fresh flowers in their lives.
Anderson has done floral design since high school, when he worked for a florist in Sylvania. After spending his first two years of college at Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, he completed two more at the University of Georgia, earning a degree in horticulture. For several years after graduation he did landscaping at Disney World, tending to topiaries and container plants.
But he drove home to do flowers for weddings on weekends, until that sideline became full-time and brought him back to Sylvania and Statesboro. His most recent former location was with Doodlebugs on East Main.
Three Gents is a brand-new business with surprises in store for anyone who reads too much into the name. It's owned and operated by one woman, Ashley Brown, and it will not be a competitor for the Sir Shop or RJ Pope, at least not in outfitting adult gentlemen.
Instead, Three Gents is a children's boutique offering new, popular-label clothes for girls and boys from newborn to 7 years old.
The three gents it's named for are Brown's three boys, Worth, 6, Wyatt, 4, and Waylon, not yet 2.
While a stay-at-home mom these past few years, Brown gained expertise in children's clothing the way that many mothers do.
"This kind of seems to be what I've been doing for the last few years, so I know a little bit about it," she said.
To get started in business, she started contacted suppliers of brands she found wore well and lasted. Labels now on display include J. Bailey, Mom & Me, Three Sisters and Banana Split.
She also hopes to stock some playthings, such as Melissa & Doug classic wooden toys, beginning this week.
Brown lives in Sylvania with her husband, Riley, and those three other gents. She has previously done bookkeeping work for her husband's business, Brown's Electric.
So there's a Sylvania connection behind the cooperation of these two businesses on a corner in the historic heart of Statesboro.
"I've known Tray for years, since we both live in Sylvania, and he was moving into a store and he had some extra space and he knew it was my vision to have a clothing store one day," Brown said.
The restoration included removing a drop ceiling to expose ductwork and the shop's original 14-foot ceiling. The whole interior has been repainted. The names of the two businesses are emblazoned in gold script on the glass front, but they share a single front door.
Anderson and Brown catch each other's phone calls when the other is away. They even have the same business hours.
Of course, self-employed retailers could use some help on rent and utilities. Anderson is the lease holder here. Brown is paying him for a portion of the rent. But a place in old downtown is more affordable than you might think. Their total rent is more than $500 but less than $1,000 a month, Anderson said.