Summit County head shop owner buys her store’s location after 8 years in business
FRISCO — Ste-V Day, the owner of Frisco’s Smok N’ Bra, was presented with an ultimatum from her store’s landlord after running the business for nearly eight years: Buy the space or move.
Day said her landlord gave her a year to decide, which she said was difficult for several reasons, including the fact that several banks were reluctant to support a store with adult merchandise.
“I got denied by a lot of banks because of the type of store I have,” Day said.
Smok N’ Bra is described on its website as “an eclectic head shop specializing in glass art, smoking accessories, clothing, body jewelry, vaping, lingerie and all the unmentionables.” Day said the banks she tried to work with were uncomfortable with the adult section of the store.
Eventually, Alpine Bank decided to take Day and her business on and granted her a loan. However, Day still had to come up with about $60,000 in one year, which she accomplished by saving and doing some community fundraising, including a yard sale.
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She also changed up the garden around her store. Instead of spending a lot of money on the garden as she does every year, she turned it into a community garden and had people bring greenery to the planting areas around the shop.
Finally, Day was able to sign the loan papers and buy her store for about $300,000 on Friday, Dec. 20.
“It hasn’t hit me yet,” Day said. “It feels the same as of now.”
Only three days after signing the papers, Day said the biggest difference she feels is that the stress of having to think about moving the shop is now off her shoulders.
But on the day she was signing her loan papers, Day said she was nervous because she didn’t know whether her Frisco tobacco license had been approved. The new Summit County nicotine laws require that all tobacco retailers, including retailers of smoking paraphernalia, have a license. The law also added new enforcement policies. For Day, that means anything smoking related in her store can only be shown or sold to those 21 and older.
After getting the loan, Day said she went straight to Town Hall to check on her license, which had been approved. Smok N’ Bra doesn’t sell cigarettes or tobacco wraps, but with the new license, she is planning to start carrying imported cigars. In the back of the store, Day sells accessories for bachelorette parties and thinks the cigars would add a nice touch for bachelor parties.
In addition to the cigars, Day wants to get better signage for outside of the building, but she knows this is something that might have to wait.
“I just have to get back on my feet with savings,” Day said.
Day said the reason she opened her store in 2011 when she was 22 years old was because there was nothing else like it in the area.
“There was no place to buy a bra or a locally made pipe in the county,” said Day, who carries the work of more than 90 glass blowers. “I want it to be the eclectic store that I started.”
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