DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- On the first floor of the old MDC building in downtown sits 350 square feet of opportunity.
"We are a Durham-themed gift shop and apparel shop," said Barbara Stover, owner of Hometown Apparel. "We love downtown. We feel that Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday it's very busy. We see a lot of customers and visitors."
Stover has run the company for eight years along 9th Street, but the pop-up shop on Main Street is part of a downtown Durham initiative to promote women and minority-owned businesses.
Nicole J. Thompson who leads Downtown Durham INC said this idea has been years in the making.
"When I looked at this front retail space, I thought it would be great. It would be a wonderful space. It was being used as an office space," said Thompson. "It was important to us to put our money where our mouth was. When we had the opportunity, we figured let's do it. Let's make sure we create these spaces. It's important to Durham. If you talk to anyone in Durham, they will always say they wanted to support the locals. They want to support women-owned. They want to support the minority-owned."
She said the pop-up shop will be leased to small business owners for half the market rate. It's a lesson in financing a business and introducing products to consumers.
This is a dream come true for Bull City native Barbara Stover, who was raised as a foster child in a low-income community.
"I had a lot of cards stacked against me from birth, but I was able to rise above that and have the opportunity to open a store on 9th street. I feel if I can do that, anyone in Durham can," said Stover.