Looking to grow from beach to boutique

Growing up, Susan Grady always wanted to open her own store. While she’s not quite there yet, the Blakeney resident is well on her way to making it happen.

Susan Grady currently has a boutique at BLACKLION on Park Road in south Charlotte (above). She hopes to eventually grow her budding business into something much larger.

Grady opened her own booth – Tides of Cape Cod – at BLACKLION Charlotte, 10635 Park Road. It features many different foods and products from her hometown in Massachusetts.  The booth opened last month, and business has taken off with more than 10 vendors on the waiting list to be featured.

“It was kind of a thought that came to me while I was sitting with a friend of mine,” Grady said.  “… I do have a background in owning a business, so I said I was going to open a Cape Cod specialty boutique.”

Grady and her husband, Todd, along with their sons, Michael and Zachary, moved to North Carolina in 2009 – first to Raleigh and then Charlotte in the fall of 2012.  While she misses her home on the coast, Grady has come to love the city that’s allowing her to start moving closer to her goals while also giving her the time she needs to raise her 12- and 9-year-old boys. The two attend Hawk Ridge Elementary and Community House Middle schools.

“I’m very happy to have luxury of being able to stay home with my kids and run a shop as well.  That’s not very common nowadays,” she said.

BLACKLION allows entrepreneurs to open a booth while the store handles all of the staffing and purchasing.  All Grady has to focus on is stocking the boutique full of memorabilia from Cape Cod, a place she says many of her customers have identified with in some way or another.

When her sons are older and she no longer has to focus so much on raising them, Grady does hope to expand into her own storefront – reaching her goal of opening her own full-sized boutique.

But this isn’t Grady’s first go at owning a business.  Back home her family has owned multiple snack bars on the beach since 1983, and her experience there and the lessons instilled in her by her parents gave her the confidence and drive to open her own boutique.

“I have done it for so many years with my family, it’s not that I don’t like to work for someone else, but ever since I was little I said I was going to own my own store one day,” she said.  “… It’s been a dream come true for me.”

Although her mom died from breast cancer shortly before Grady moved to North Carolina, she says the lessons her mom taught her have stayed with her as she has pushed toward her dream.

“My mother had a very strong spirit and (she) always taught us to follow our dreams and do what we want to do,” she said.

Anyone can visit Tides of Cape Cod at BLACKLION Charlotte from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 6 p.m.  To find out more information about the boutique go to www.tidesofcapecod.com.

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