Union Rose is moving down the street to a new storefront at 8029 SE Stark Street. Currently, they are located a block east on the same side of Stark Street. The larger space will allow for more onsite manufacturing of women’s clothing and expanded gift-items available in the shop.
Owner Rita Hudson-Evalt was excited to find a new place nearby. “I love being in Montavilla,” remarked Hudson-Evalt when describing the short move. Staying in the neighborhood is essential for the business and staying on the street ensures minimal disruption for customers. Union Rose has been in its current location since before Hudson-Evalt bought the store in 2014. The original owner, Nicole Prevost, opened the store on Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in 2007 and moved to Montavilla not too long after that. Hudson-Evalt was a designer, selling to the store when Prevost was looking to leave the business. “I couldn’t handle the place not being around,” explained Hudson-Evalt when describing why she bought the shop.
Six years later, the store is continuing to survive in the pandemic thanks to a loyal customer base and the online store’s success. “We are going to make it through,” Hudson-Evalt said with a tone of relief. Doubling the store’s floor space affirms the businesses’ health and positions the company to be more flexible as the economy changes and recovers.
The store will shut down its old location on December 28th and reopen in the new storefront around January 6th. Hudson-Evalt will bring clothing production entirely onsite, moving from the basement studio where much of the work happens today. The back portion of the new shop becomes dedicated to product creation. A curtain behind the counter will hide overly messy projects, but most times it will remain open to show customers the process.
Union Rose’s location at 7909 SE Stark Street will become available in the new year. “It was a fantastic location,” according to Hudson-Evalt. Growing out of the space was the only issue for the company. Montavilla retail space is affordable with accommodating building management. “Both landlords have been great,” said Hudson-Evalt about the process of switching locations. For instance, the new owner of 8029 SE Stark Street upgraded the front windows to new energy-efficient glass, retaining the old appearance with improved comfort.
The future home of Union Rose previously housed Tanuki and other restraints. The building’s history began in 1924. This particular space had an address of 2019 E Stark Street before the street renumbering of the 1930s. The first business listing at that address was for The Pastime pool hall. A 1926 advertisement in the Montavilla Times declares it “Where All Good Fellows Meet.”
This move is an exciting shuffle of Stark Street businesses. Carmen Ripley, the owner of Beanstalk Children’s Resale Clothing, expressed excitement about Union Rose’s future move to the storefront next to her shop. The two apparel stores should complement each other’s business with minimal overlap in offerings. The new year will bring many changes to the neighborhood, and Union Rose’s move seems to be only positive for the community.