When Cambridge native Ashley Banks decided to open a specialty retail store in her hometown, this fashion-forward entrepreneur called on her experience at two upscale children’s boutiques and the support of family and friends to christen Sur Jeudi at 511 Poplar Street. In just over two months, Bank’s dream of running her own business became a reality as she cut the ribbon at Cambridge’s newest retail shop during Second Saturdays on November 9.
“I’ve always loved fashion and wanted to open my own business,” Banks said. “I just needed an extra push to follow my dreams.”
A series of life-altering events in the past year gave her that push. Inspired by her six-year-old daughter and equipped with extensive experience, Banks settled on a children’s store with clothing, books and toys as her first entrepreneurial venture.
Together with her husband Jamaal, the Banks found the 1,000-square-foot Historic District property on Craig’s List. By October 1, they had signed the lease and begun outfitting the space. Now open seven days a week, the beautifully merchandised store features such labels as Elegant Baby, Baby Aspen and Mary Meyer.
Banks credits the city and other shop owners for their assistance and warm welcome saying, “Everyone works together downtown and it’s such a beautiful thing!”
The couple underwrote all of their start-up expenses. They plan to apply for a façade improvement grant to replace the awnings.
For information on Sur Jeudi, visit them on Facebook or call 410-330-2526.