Women’s clothing store Rosewood Clothing Co. is turning a page after almost six years on the southern edge of Jackson Ward.
The shop, which sells a combination of vintage and new women’s clothing, as well as accessories and home goods, opened earlier this month at 407 Cleveland St. in the Museum District, a few miles west in the city from its original home at 16 W. Broad St.
A combination of economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and lingering parking issues along Broad delivered a one-two punch that store owner Ashley Carruthers said led her to seek a smaller and more accessible space elsewhere in town.
“I didn’t want to leave, but this move was a decision made to survive,” she said.
Carruthers said her customers had difficulty finding places to park near the store after the GRTC Pulse bus line reshuffled the streetscape. The effort to build a new transit route wrapped up in 2018, and much of the parking along Broad Street was lost in the course of the project that started construction in 2016.
“At first it was fine, but then (business) just dwindled,” she said.
Then came the pandemic. After temporarily closing the Broad Street storefront in line with public health guidelines in March, Carruthers reopened in mid-June but came to realize the revenue wasn’t there to be able to continue to operate in the space.
“Within a month, I saw it wouldn’t be OK,” she said.
Though Rosewood’s previous location was in Richmond’s epicenter of early police brutality protests in response to the death of George Floyd by Minneapolis police in May, Carruthers said that wasn’t a deciding factor in the decision to relocate.
The new space, at about 600 square feet, is smaller than the 900-square-foot shop she left behind on Broad Street. Carruthers is subleasing her new space from a salon called Amoura that shares the same building.
Rosewood has shifted its hours to a reduced schedule and has also been doing by-appointment shopping as some customers are more comfortable with that format. The store also has an e-commerce presence.
“We’re trying to find that balance between in-store and online,” Carruthers said, adding that foot traffic has been steadier in the new location.