Online retailer Shelley’s Gift Shop opens physical location near VCU
After launching as a digital business about a year ago, a local retailer opened a physical store near VCU.
The Shelley’s Gift Shop opened at 1727 W. Main St. in Fan this week. The company sells kitchen accessories, cookies, cards, jewelry, decorations and other items intended to fill a gift basket.
While the company’s sales so far have largely been to out-of-state customers, owner Shelley Evans said the decision to open a physical location was driven by the interest of its local customers.
“We were e-commerce and online only for the first 16 months. What happened was we needed the following in Richmond. They want to see a Shelley’s gift shop, ”Evans said.
She said she came up with the idea for the business in 2018, when she was hospitalized with a brain injury after an autoimmune response to a viral infection.
While recovering, she noticed that the hospital gift shop was missing. That, coupled with the rise of larger retailers, helped her see an opening for an organized gift shop business.
Evans sources from small businesses based across the country.
“The (hospital) gift shop had nothing. I really love retail and just saw a need for something like this with Amazon and big box retailers being more popular, ”Evans said.
After Evans was released from the hospital, she resumed her job as an insurance underwriter and started the gift shop. Evans quit his day job to focus full time on the gift shop in January.
“We had very good feedback. So I knew I had to quit my job, ”she said.
The company primarily sells to people who need teacher appreciation gifts, corporate gifts, and real estate closing gifts, Evans said.
She said she hoped the 700-square-foot Fan store would be the first of more brick-and-mortar locations.
Less Than, another recent retail addition, is a store that sells eco-friendly household and toiletries like soaps, detergents, and other items.