Taking it to the streets: Mocksville businesses looking for more downtown foot traffic

Published 10:33 am Thursday, July 7, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By Jeanna Baxter White

Word Master Media Group

Everyone in Downtown Mocksville knows that increasing foot traffic is good for business.

Business leaders have established the Downtown Mocksville Collaborative (DMC) to “promote and increase public exposure of Downtown Mocksville through communication and marketing of the downtown business community.”

Dottie Graham, branch manager of Skyline National Bank, serves as president; Suzanne Lakey, owner of Southern Ties Boutique and The Station General Store and Taproom, as vice president; Stephanie Shoffner, owner of Lydia Jaynes, is treasurer; and Haley Pulliam, owner of Ma and Me Accessories, is secretary.

The group meets once a month to brainstorm ideas to increase foot traffic and awareness of the downtown area.

“I hear people say that there is nothing going on in Mocksville, but that is simply not true,” said Graham. She pointed out the concerts, movies, and special activities hosted by the town and downtown businesses. “There is something going on all of the time.”

“Tami (Langdon, Mocksville’s community development coordinator) does a great job, but she can’t do it all. It’s important that we, the business community, step up and do our part,” said Graham. “She has been a great help as we have gotten started, and the Town has been really supportive of our efforts.”

One of the goals is to help increase awareness of downtown events by expanding communication within the business community, particularly between the merchants and service providers.

“I don’t know the exact ratio, but there are far more service providers like hairdressers, lawyers, insurance, and real estate agents than there are merchants,” said Lakey. “We all bring people downtown for different purposes. We want to figure out how to work cohesively to bring more awareness of everything that the downtown has to offer. For instance, you might be coming downtown to shop, but while you are here, you should learn that there is a really cool bank that you should visit.

“We can promote each other if we know what someone else is doing. Skyline and The Station recently did an event together on a Sunday afternoon that brought more than 1,200 people downtown. Many of them asked us what other businesses were open and what else might be going on. Unfortunately, since it was a Sunday, many of the businesses were closed.”

“By increasing communication between the businesses, we will be better able to support each other and perhaps coordinate on events and raise the excitement,” said Graham. “That will get more people from out of town coming into town, which would be a great thing.”

The DMC also wants to support the town’s downtown beautification efforts.

“Another goal is to help all of our businesses be ready and welcoming for visitors. We need to make sure that our windows displays are up to date and our storefronts are clean and appealing. It would be great if we could coordinate the timing of our seasonal displays so that the town has a coordinated look. Things like that will make things more inviting for everyone,” Lakey said. “We want to create a unified front that gives a good impression of downtown Mocksville.”

The DMC plans to host an event each quarter to get all downtown businesses involved. The first, a Fairy Walk, is scheduled for July 16 from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. All businesses have been invited to put up a “fairy door” outside their building in an easy-to-see location for kids to find on a trail that day. So far, 32 businesses have agreed to participate.  Most will be handing out fairy-themed small gifts like stickers, bubbles, crowns, pixie dust, wands, and edible treats. There will also be a prize wheel, a photo booth, and fairy-themed stories. If it goes well, they hope to host a pirate-themed event in September.

“This is a simple idea to bring people together that won’t cost anyone a ton of money,” said Graham.

“We want everyone to see that coordinating events together will create more momentum for the greater good. It won’t happen overnight but we want to start a movement,” Lakey said. “We can’t make anyone participate, but this is an invitation to anyone who wants to get on board and help to grow the downtown. I think we all have the same mission, but when you are trying to do it alone it’s exhausting. If we collaborate together, I think we will see a big growth downtown.”   

To learn more about the collaborative or to share ideas for future events, contact Dottie Graham at dgraham@skylinenationalbank.com; Suzanne Lakey at suzanne.lakey@me.com; Stephanie Shoffner at stephanie@lydiajaynes.com; or Haley Pulliam at maandmeaccessories@gmail.com.