Women, children first

Women, children first

October 28th, 2010 by Brittany Cofer in Business

Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press On Tuesday morning Joe Crutcher, left, and Eric Byrd, right, from SmartFurniture assemble shelves for the first retail tenant of One North Shore, The Little Twig Boutique. Amy Tucker, the owner, says the store will open on Oct. 29.

Staff Photo by Allison Carter/Chattanooga Times Free Press On...

The first of the retail tenants inhabiting the lower level of the North Shore's largest residential development will open next week.

The Little Twig, an organic mother-and-baby boutique, will be One North Shore's first retail shop, arriving about five months after the first non-residential tenant, Keller Williams Realty, relocated its office there.

In an 1,800-square-foot space across the street from Greenlife Grocery, The Little Twig will offer organic clothing, toys, diapers, bath and body products and nursing wear for mothers and children up to age 6, owner Amy Tucker said.

"It's a healthy place, a loving place, an educational place, an empowering place," Tucker said of her shop, which will be divided into a retail area and a classroom.

With three children of her own, ages 1, 3 and 10, Tucker said running a store dedicated to educating mothers about childbirth and child rearing is close to her heart. She plans to hold natural birth and nursing classes, women's meetings, and mother and baby yoga classes in her educational space.

After having a water birth at home last year through a local midwife, she decided to create a place where women could have support and gather information about the practice.

"A lot of women don't know things like this exist," Tucker said. "Now is the time to let them know. ... It will be a great way for women to be in touch with other women."

Tucker's shop will hold a grand opening Nov. 5 and will be open Monday through Saturday.

Several other retailers and restaurants are also gearing up to fill the 20,000 square feet of retail space available at One North Shore, said Kathy Jones, leasing representative with developer Fletcher Bright Co. She said a lease is out for a clothing store to go in the space beside The Little Twig, and there several others who have expressed interest, including the representative of a contemporary American-style restaurant.

An expansion is also in the works for Keller Williams' 7,000-square-foot space within One North Shore, said Robert Moss, downtown team leader.

"Based on everybody I'm working with so far, if all of these people sign leases - and that's a big if - there would only be 1,500 square feet left," Jones said.

She said she anticipates spaces to be filled by next spring.