Small Business Spotlight of the Week: Market on Main NC – BladenOnline –

Communication, Community, and education are our top priorities.
By Cara Beth Lewis
Two sisters, Beth and Emily Dowless, have fond memories of the businesses in Downtown Bladenboro when they were children. They shared, “We wanted to do our part to help Bladenboro grow and revitalize downtown,” so when they were given the opportunity to open a store “downtown,” they took it.
Beth and Emily explained, “When we were younger, we would go “downtown” after school and get an orangeade at Edwards and walk to Fisher’s and Jones’ while our mama would shop at Hinson’s supermarket.  In the past few years, Bladenboro has looked more like a ghost town than the thriving little town from our youth.  We want Bladenboro to be like that again.  We are excited about the new buildings and businesses coming soon and we want to be a part of helping Bladenboro grow!”
Market on Main, formerly known as Two Broke Teachers: Bladen, carries furniture of all kinds, for all areas of your home. The owners shared, “We have several different vendors for furniture and if we don’t have it, we can probably get it!”

Not only does Market on Main offer a variety of beautiful furniture, but the store also carries a huge stock of home decor and gift items. In addition, design assistance is available too! The owners explained, “We also have an amazing designer on staff that is also our store manager, Jill Stewart-West.  Jill is extremely talented and does an amazing job running the day to day of the store as well as helping customers find the perfect buys for their home.” When you walk into Market on Main, you will be greeted by Jill who is always happy to help.
The decor and gift store carries wreaths, bows, flags, florals, lamps, mirrors, pictures and lots of accessories, including picture frames, florals, candle sticks, dining accessories, and more. “This year we have added several new lines such as Nora Fleming, Michel Design Works, Tyler Candle Company, Mudpie, FarmHouse Fresh and more,” Emily shared. She continued,  “We want to be your one stop shop for your home and gift needs.  We also offer some unique things such as kids gifts, personalized items and more.”
When the business first opened on September 11th, 2021, then “2 Broke Teachers” occupied the approximately 2,100 square-foot space at 107 South Main Street in Bladenboro. Emily and Beth explained, “It didn’t take us long at all to realize that we needed more space!  After only a few days in business, we started looking for more space.  In December, we acquired the building next door which was 109 S. Main Street.” They continued, If you ever shopped at Fisher’s and The Ladies Shop in Bladenboro, you will remember there was an opening between the 2 buildings.  We opened that back up and doubled our space!  We recently purchased the building and now our goal is to replace the roof, replace the front awning and add more curb appeal.  We hope to add a lighted box sign on the awning, replace the flooring and update a few other things inside.”
“Over time, we have adjusted our strategies and learned what works and what doesn’t and we are still learning.  In retail, I think you have to be willing and able to adjust on a dime.  What is our next goal….who knows?  Right now, we are still “learning the ropes”  but we do have high expectations for the future.  We plan to be around for a long time and we know that with the support of our community, we will be successful.”  – Emily and Beth Dowless, owners of Market on Main.
Originally, the shop was part of a franchise. However, Emily and Beth decided over time to have their own store with their own name. Due to the limitations that come with being part of a franchise, the owners explained, “Logistically, it made sense for us to do our own name and business.  It was a learning curve, but we feel it was the  best decision.  I know that was confusing for some people and for that, we apologize.  The franchisors were super helpful to us and very supportive of our decision.” – And that is how “Market on Main” came to be.
Every small business faces challenges. For Market on Main, foot traffic, or lack thereof, has been a challenge. However, the ability to overcome those challenges and make the best of what you have is what makes for a successful business. Management at Market on Main utilizes social media marketing, events such as paint parties, and happy customer referrals to bring in more customers.
Market on Main strives to aid their community and make a positive contribution wherever possible. Emily and Beth shared, “Our family is extremely active in our community.  Our daddy, Charles Ray Peterson, is involved in literally everything!  We try to help out in any way we can.  We sponsor lots of ball teams, schools, and other events around the county.  Emily Dowless is also a member of the Kevin Conner Memorial Foundation and organizes the annual 5K race.”
Market on Main is not actively hiring, but that can always change.  If you are interested in a job, stop by the store or call at 910-874-3474.  Qualifications include high school diploma and ability to make bows is highly preferred.
A message from the owners:
“Thank you to all of our customers and supporters.  The love and support that you guys have shown to our family has been nothing short of amazing.  Truly, we are blessed to live in such a wonderful community.  It is our great honor to serve you!  If you haven’t had a chance to check us out yet, please do so.  Also, please check out all of our other local businesses in Bladen County.  I guarantee that shopping local does matter and is greatly appreciated!  We have some great businesses located throughout our great county and I love how all of the small businesses work to help one another!  We hope you can shop with us soon!”  -Beth and Emily Dowless
Market on Main
Open 10am-6pm daily, Closed on Wednesday and Sunday.
109 S. Main Street, Bladenboro, NC
(910) 874-3474
TikTok:  @marketonmainnc
Instagram:  @marketonmainnc
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