LUMBERTON — A bridal shop that had dressed up downtown Lumberton since 2009 has moved to a new location after an Oct. 10 fire permeated merchandise with a stubborn smoky smell.
“I feel like we’ve been closed for the whole month of October,” said Cherry Spruill, owner of All-Occasions & Bridal, as she leaned against the wall of her new building at 1908 N. Pine St. on Wednesday. “… We probably lost about $30,000, with moving, having to throw dresses away, buying new things and paying employees while we were not selling.”
The early-morning fire in the heart of Lumberton’s downtown destroyed a would-be church at 305 N. Elm St., and water used to extinguish the flames left Spruill’s business waterlogged. The street remained closed to traffic for a week, until a potential threat from still-falling debris could be contained by a temporary retaining wall. The street’s closure stymied business for Spruill and other shop owners.
“I had been looking for weeks and weeks,” Spruill said. “One of the girls, one of my assistants, saw the ‘for rent’ sign here and told me to check it out. … I fell in love with it.”
The store’s new building, centered amidst a green landscape on the corner of Pine and 20th streets, is framed on two sides by walkways shaded by arched stone awnings. It features windows, both clear and stained-glass, that allow natural light to stream in on the white, cream and brightly-colored dresses that await purchase — but that didn’t stop Spruill from adding a few chandeliers.
“This, to me, looks more glamorous for a bridal shop,” Spruill said as she looked around at the thick molding on the walls and gleaming hardwood floors, original to the building that was built as a home in 1936.
The building is smaller than Spruill’s Elm Street location and comes at an additional price of $400 per month, but she said knowing that the owner would take care of any water damage makes up for the increase in overhead.
Spruill said the new location has received rave reviews from business associates — and she hopes to receive the same reaction from her customers during the store’s grand re-opening on Nov. 24.
“I’m excited,” she said. “That’s all I can say, I’m just excited, with the new look and everything.”