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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Downtown Bryan’s own Pandora’s Box?

A+collection+of+jewelry+for+sale+at+Love+Local+in+Downtown+Bryan+on%26%23160%3BWednesday%2C+Sept.+27%2C+2023.
Photo by Jaime Rowe

A collection of jewelry for sale at Love Local in Downtown Bryan on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.

Love Downtown Local is a new and innovative store in Downtown Bryan that incorporates small businesses with a passion for creating niche, handmade gifts. The store has 62 vendors that rent a storefront together and sell their products to the local community seven days a week. 

After five years of working in farmers’ markets and pop-up shops, local business vendor and founder of Love Downtown Local, Jazmin Avilla, said she decided to invest in herself and open the store. The stress of having to maintain the lease for her own small business, Healthy Vibrations, led to outsourcing to local vendors for support, Avilla said. Healthy Vibrations sells handmade jewelry and organic beauty products. 

“It all happened so fast,” Avilla said. “We gathered so many vendors to get this project going. We are all creators, artists or even resellers. All the vendors that have a booth actually work at the store, so it’s a cool way to learn about the creators and their products. Each vendor has a story. They have a framed picture in their booth that describes their history, products and special events. You get to know the staff and we are local people. Your money stays in the community.”

As the owner, Avilla is responsible for managing the retail staff, property management and overseeing all the vendors. Because of the close quarters and hours of hard work, the staff at Love Downtown Local are a close-knit community, Avilla said. 

“That’s what I love most about this job: the people and the community,” Avilla said. “We get an overwhelming amount of support from the people in Bryan and our store really is a family. Moreover, I love the freedom of being your own boss. Whether I feel like making products all day or taking a nap, I like that it’s up to me.”

Inspired by the range of professions that require scrubs, from healthcare workers to janitorial staff, Jasmin Brown created her own scrub business, Lap of Luxury. After noticing the need for more medical apparel, she felt it was her duty to start her brand, Brown said. The business started in February of 2022 and joined Love Downtown Local in August.
“We are a little family here, we promote and support each other,” Brown said. “I love the variety of our store. You walk in and it’s like Christmas day. There are all kinds of things there, we have art, jewelry, scrubs, keychains — the list goes on and on.” 

The store is catered primarily to women, ranging from children to seniors, and the purpose is to help women feel empowered, Brown said. Although there is something for everyone, they want to make sure that women know it’s a place to feel safe and special. 

As an avid shopper and small business supporter, Jeanelle Johnson said she spends many nights at Love Downtown Local enjoying the products and supporting her community.

“I prefer to shop local,” Johnson said. “I think it makes gifts feel more valuable and intimate.” 

Love Downtown Local is continuing to add vendors to its rotation and updates its products daily. From struggling to keep up with the demand of local markets and pop-up shops, Avilla and her team said they felt they have made their mark on Downtown Bryan.

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