Organic growth is the best growth when it comes to small business. For years, I’ve been following the retail pursuits of Giovanni Centurione, who started off in an incubator space at the Market Arcade before establishing a stand-alone brick and mortar at 85 Allen Street. Actually, he was joined by Siobhan Taylor, owner of Ms Eye Candy – the two shared a sizable storefront.
Whenever you hear “huge announcement” coming from a business owner during a time of pandemic, you tend to shudder. At least I do. But when Giovanni posted that he had a “huge announcement” to make, it turned out to be great news – he’s growing once again. This time, he’s moving into a storefront a few doors down at 95 Allen Street, while Siobhan will continue to operate Ms Eye Candy clothing boutique out of 85 Allen Street, while expanding her lines of merchandise at the same time. So their ingenious plan to share a space – to conserve money and labor – has now proved to be a wise decision that will ultimately be a boon for Allentown retail.
By moving into his own digs, Giovanni will be able to grow his fashion lines, while affording him the opportunity to do even more of what he does best: pop-ups (such as yoga, jewelry, and homemade purses), podcasts, sip and shops, fashion shows, photo shoots, book signings, open mic/cypher, DJ parties, and designer meet and greets.
“This will give me an opportunity to carry a lot more variety, including vinyl and old magazines, with vintage apparel, and new sneakers,” said Giovanni.
I asked Giovanni how the rest of the Allen Street block was faring, and he was very upbeat about the future of his block. “A whole bunch of things have changed. The Barkery (pet store) moved to Allen Street, so that brings more traffic and more dogs. Fast and Tasty moved out, and Sammy’s moved in – they are Indian, American, and Spanish cuisine. Freshly Dipped moved out, and Shirt Off My Back took their space – they sell second hand clothing and other stuff. French Girl Skin Spa opened as well, so yes, there’s a lot going on on this block. I heard that they are going to start the next phase of the Allen Street streetscape this spring – hopefully that entire project will be completed sooner rather than later.”
In the meantime, head on over to Trend Up before they bust a move, because Giovanni is having a big sale on apparel, such as funky t-shirts, joggers (fashionable ‘sportywear’ track suits), with lines that include EPTM, Reason, and Cooper9.
After three years sharing a space on the street, Giovanni is ready to take Allentown by storm, with an anticipated opening date of March 1.