32 S G M A G A Z I N E | FA L L 2 0 1 8 Being able to start slow without the significant commitment of renting a lot of space, Simmons is able to grow with her business. Thomasville Main Street Director April Norton said businesses, like You’re Maker, are bringing a new segment of people to the Creative District. “You’re Maker is attracting young children and families downtown, breathing new life and creativity to the area,” said Norton. “They are sparking creative energy within these tiny entrepreneurs. The children are not only learning sewing and new craft skills, but also how to be business minded, paving the way for our future.” It’s All About Location With a unique selection of retail and restaurant options for children and adults, plus scheduled entertainment in The Ritz Amphitheater, which opened in spring 2017, the Creative District is now a popular extension of Thomasville’s downtown. From the Fuzzy Goat, an eclectic and fun knitting shop, to Hugga Mugga’s, where you can pick up homemade treats for your fur babies, to a full service bike shop and tap room and dining options that include Paulie’s Brick Oven Pizza, Empire Bagel, and Delicatessen, and even rolled ice cream at Kreamkles, the Creative District is now a hopping location. thomasvillega.com thomasvillearts.org According to Norton, since 2014 the Creative District has seen a net growth of 24 new businesses and 114 new jobs including seven new businesses expected to open this year, creating an additional 73 new job opportunities before the close of 2018. Norton said the Creative District is a historically important area of Thomasville’s established downtown district. “Downtown is where our locals gather, it’s where we host events, and it continues to be the leading tourist attraction to Thomasville. Businesses are able to be successful and prosper because our downtown serves as an economic engine for the community.” Norton works with prospective businesses to find the right location fit. “It’s important to understand the vision of each business owner and it’s equally important to share with them the vision our community has so that they are given the greatest opportunity to thrive,” Norton said. “We are a ‘maker’ community and the Creative District has provided a platform to really allow the artistic visionaries of our area thrive. Anytime you can play a part as a customer in making a product or seeing the product being made in front of you, you tend to gain ownership over it. That’s what people want and I am thrilled to see activated spaces that allow that vision to become reality in downtown Thomasville.” Sara Simmons, owner of Wildflower Interiors, started her business as a pop-up shop in space at You’re Maker to see if she was ready for a brick and mortar store. Photo by Pat Gallagher. Fuzzy Goat, an eclectic and fun knitting shop, was one of the first shops to open in the new Creative District. Photo by Pat Gallagher.