Hi there! We are Avalon and Natalie of The Downtown Exchange in Denison, TX. Our shop is filled with all of the things we love: Macarons, Succulents, Cacti, Home Decor, Gifts, Resale Clothing, and so much more. We wanted to take a moment to re-introduce ourselves so you could get to know us a little better.
My name is Avalon Plauché and this is my sidekick, Lera. I thought I'd tell you a little bit of my background:
I danced around a lot after high school. I had a slight idea of what I wanted to do, but I had no idea how to make it happen. I finally decided on a degree path and graduated with an associates in fashion design and a bachelor's in merchandise marketing & management from Wade College in Dallas, TX. In October 2015, I was able to expand a booth where I was reselling clothes with Natalie in her antique mall from 100 square feet to 1,000! Natalie wanted to step back and simply be the landlord, which worked well for both of us..for a little while. Shortly after I graduated in January 2016, nearly 6 months later, The Downtown Exchange expanded to the 5,000 square foot beauty it is today & Natalie is back in the game!
Lera & I have been together for a whole year now! I was honestly super nervous to get her, but I can proudly say that she is THE BEST decision I have ever made. My sweet, little Bean has my heart and the heart of (almost) every customer that comes in the shop!
I love ice cream, popcorn, and lattes. I hardly wear makeup, or do my hair, and my favorite outfit is a cropped top, leggings, and flip flops. I like to consider myself "low maintenance," but my boyfriend of 3 years, Terrin, may tell you differently.
I love what I do and I am so glad I never had to run in the rat race.
Now, let me introduce you to my dear friend, Natalie Popplewell:
Hi! I'm Natalie!
Right after High School, I chose the path that most 18 year olds do, college. I majored in business and in two years I *almost* got my associates degree. With just one class shy (don't worry I did finally take it and get my associates) I married my husband of 7 years, Andy! The SAME month we got married, we were fortunate enough to get an opportunity to take over an antique mall in Downtown Denison with the option to purchase the building itself in the future. And that's just what we did! Six months later we were approached by the bank to purchase the building as it was about to go in to foreclosure. They offered it to us with NO down payment. At the time I didn't realize just how amazing of an opportunity this was.
We ran the mall for 3 years. If I'm being completely honest, it was neither of our passions. Andy started pursuing information technology (IT) in his spare time and eventually came to me with the idea of him making it his job. I was super scared to let go of the store but ultimately it felt right. Andy got a job with Choctaw Nation and we rented out the store to two of our vendors. During this time we had a slew of different renters in our lofts. Some were wonderful...and some were terrible. I was slowly getting tired of being a landlord. We were BOTH ready to sell and were even approached by investors but in the end we decided to hold onto it.
BOY, AM I GLAD WE DID! A year ago, in June, Avalon decided to take over the entire store and expand The Downtown Exchange. I, still being burned out, told her that I was super excited, and would be happy to help with the remodel and some of the behind the scenes stuff, but ultimately i just wanted to be a landlord. Slowly but surely I was at the shop more often. Giving ideas, helping out here and there, or just hanging out for fun. That turned into us collaborating together on Gardens of the Galaxy, our Succy Nursery! This is where you can come in and create your own succulent container in the store. Next was macarons, our other obsession, then flavored coffee, and well...you get it!
Now I LOVE being at the store! It reminds me of the excitement of when we first took over the shop and its been so neat to have my passion for small business restored again.
I should also probably plug my other passion: photography! Amanda Mendenhall and I are Gingersnap Studios, wedding and portrait photographers, and she took all of these lovely photos for us. I am so thankful that I am able to make a living with my passions.
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