The offerings at Libbie Mill-Midtown continue to evolve with the addition of a new commercial tenant.
Blu Hazel, a combination of an event space and retail store, is expected to open in October in Suite 160 at 4900 Libbie Mill East Blvd.
The 1,600-square-foot space will hold a bar and lounge space on the right, across from a retail space on the left. Owners Stacey Marchetti and Yedda Stancil noted it is designed to be rearranged as needed, based on the event hosted.
“It’s multi-use for sure. Casual, in home, sip and shop, shop while someone sips,” Stancil said. “Just have a mindful break in the middle of the day. We welcome anybody.”
Stancil has built a career as a “consciousness coach” and consultant and author of the self-help book “Shut Up and Sit.”
She also helped establish East Cary Street’s Mindfulness Bar, another shared venture providing clients with meditation, yoga and silent retreats, according to its website.
Stancil will use the Blu Hazel space to coach her business clients, in a way that she characterizes as an escape from the corporate environment.
“It’s an experience: serving food, learning that you can still drink a glass of wine or have a beer and still be present and fun,” she said. “Learn in a new way that doesn’t have to be stuffy.”
Marchetti is the president of Excel Courier Inc., a Northern Virginia-based transport company she runs with her husband Chris.
While there, she was already operating a boutique selling gifts, decor and accessory items, though it lacked its own brick-and-mortar foundation, something she wanted to change with her move to Richmond.
Marchetti will use the upcoming shop to offer a range of products, from clothing to jewelry to home decorations sourced from U.S. and local artists that the two have begun building a relationship with.
“It’s not like we’re looking for products that come in on a container,” Marchetti said.
The business partners’ friendship began as a client-based relationship, before they decided to take the leap with a storefront for their ideas.
“As Chris Martin would say, from Coldplay, ‘If you never try you never know,’” Marchetti said. “When this opportunity came up, I’m like ‘Well, if you don’t try you’re not going to know if it’s going to work out.’”
The shared business, named after Marchetti’s grandma, is an evenly split partnership and has so far been self-funded. Stancil estimates that the buildout will cost between $200,000 and $250,000.
Renovations by Titan Construction Group are a few weeks away from completion. Stancil said a divider wall is the remaining addition, followed by a paint job and work on concrete flooring.
The leased location was one of the last two retail spaces available at the Tanner Row building in Libbie Mill. The two entrepreneurs worked with Colliers’ Harrison Hall. The building also is home to Crafted Restaurant, Airrosti Physical Therapy and the Marsh Mclennan Agency.
The two are gearing Blu Hazel for an October grand opening involving local artists.
Libbie Mill-Midtown is a mixed-use, 80-acre project led by Gumenick Properties. Anchored by a library, it now includes offices, retail, apartments and townhomes.
Blu Hazel is opening across from Acacia Mid-Town, a seafood restaurant set to be business-ready this fall. Other nearby development in the area includes the Willow Place shopping center owned by Sauer Properties, which is currently adding a Shake Shack to the retail space.