Why did you want to start a business association?
You need structure. When I moved my business from downtown to Brambleton, I noticed that the business owners didn’t really know each other, but it’s such a tight-knit community that there was opportunity to have a platform for people to get to know each other, network and hopefully start a referral system.
If I’m here just small talking with one of my clients and they say, “Oh my hairdresser moved to North Carolina,” I can tell her, “Oh, well, mine’s right down the road here. You ought to go see her.” We needed another area of unifying everything and just building more of a community to make the area more attractive for people to shop.
What are the association’s goals?
Some of our goals are to have a way to bring everybody together. And be able to form one voice for that area. One voice for the community. And that way everybody can voice what their concerns are, what they would like to see for the area. And that way we can join together and try to make it happen. I’m sure everyone down to Brandon [Avenue] to Cave Spring Baptist Church are business owners that want to see stuff. Like the new sign put up. Like the sidewalks. … So that way we can see what would you like to see. We didn’t really have that capability before.
What’s it like to work on Brambleton?
It’s different from anywhere I’ve been. Because downtown is where I came from. This is more like a laid-back community. People do kind of know each other, and it’s really diversified. The thing I’ve noticed is that you can do most of your needs on Brambleton. You can buy your groceries. You can get your dry cleaning done. You can get your financial services. Go to church. There’s pretty much everything here on Brambleton. So that’s what’s attractive about it.
What’s the biggest difference between working downtown and working on Brambleton?
Less complaints about parking. … I actually find that most of my clients are from this area. So I looked at the demographics and 40 percent of Roanoke County live around here. Which is crazy. This is a really condensed area.
What would you say to someone looking to open a business on Brambleton?
Benefits of coming to Brambleton area, like I said, are the demographics. Most of the wealth is in this area. So when you look up the numbers there’s a higher household income here. There’s a higher population here. So you can reach the people easier and it makes them more inclined to come to you. [They’re] more inclined to come to my office rather than if I was in downtown or I was in Botetourt County. So I guess there’s more fish in the pond and more fish are bigger.