Since Plum's opening 7 years ago, Plum has called Spice Village home. It holds a special place in our hearts, and those of a ton of other people! 2017 marks 20 years of Spice occupying this great downtown Waco space, and we're celebrating by taking a look at what makes Spice so special with the help of some of our fellow tenants and Spice employees.
20 YEARS OF SPICE
Owner of Spice Village, 20 years
"My absolute favorite thing about Spice are the people! Not only do I have the pleasure of working with some of the most amazing people I could even have the privilege of knowing, but I get to meet & make new friends on a daily basis. Over 20 years, I have made some amazing relationships that I would have never had the experience of doing if it hadn’t been for this place!"
Jennifer and Christi opened Spice in downtown Waco in 1997, with a vision of downtown becoming a shopping destination. Downtown was empty then, with no shopping or night life and very few small businesses. Their store, Spice, was a furniture store that covered half of the second floor space that is now Spice Village, and the other half they rented to tenants in what was then called The Shops of River Square Center. Over the years, Spice went through many changes, including occupying space downstairs, opening a cafe, becoming a single-owner business, and changing names. Spice Village today is back to its second-floor location, made up of over 60 locally-owned shops with unique points of view. Spice is known for its diversity of products, unique displays, and size (30,000 square feet)!
Kimberly became part of the Spice team as a college student 18 years ago. Her role here has changed and grown over the years as much as Spice itself has! She started as a part-time bookkeeper, but now does all of the bookkeeping as well as buying for Spice's own retail sections. She exercises her passions for creativity and math daily at Spice.
Owner of Plum and past Spice manager, 12 years
"The building alone has a beautiful story. It survived the tornado and was revitalized when nothing else was downtown. Spice is unique because it is made of 60 individual shop owners. That's 60 small business owners, working, making, and creating their dream of having their own store. Collectively, we all come together and create an ever-changing unique atmosphere with a great experience for shoppers."
Jessica has been part of Spice for 12 years. She started working at Spice when it was a furniture store and worked with Jennifer doing everything from creating visual displays to delivering furniture! She used her time at Spice to learn all that she could about the retail industry, knowing that she wanted to own her own store in the future. When the opportunity to open a shop inside of Spice arose in 2011, she took it, and Plum was created!
Owner of Bee Angels, Tradinghouse Design Co, and Lily's Toy Box, 12 years
"[My] favorite thing about shopping at Spice is the wide range of unique products that are available and knowing that each purchase supports someone’s small business, enabling them to do what they love. Spice is a beautiful collection of individually-owned shops that offers a fun, inspiring shopping experience under one roof."
Angel opened Bee Angels inside of Spice in 2005, initially selling bath products. Over the years her business has grown and changed, and now includes her husband and daughter, and two additional shops at Spice! You can find children's toys in Lily's Toy Box, farm tables handmade by her husband Jason and unique finds in Tradinghouse Design Co, and antiques and soaps in Bee Angels. Their business is a family one to its core, and they are thankful for the opportunities they have had to grow it through Spice Village.
Co-owner of Congress Clothing, 7 years
"Congress Clothing started at Spice in 2010 with just one little wall. We have grown each year into the space we have now. Jennifer has continued to bring us ideas about space and how to be better, we love our partnership with her! Spice draws EVERYONE in! The diversity of retail at Spice caters to all kinds, I love that I can walk through anytime and be inspired. I always find items that make me smile or bring me joy! Spice is a collection of delightful shops, block off an ENTIRE afternoon to explore & discover!"
Holly became a part of Spice in 2009, working at the furniture store. She and Jessica became close, and soon after Jessica opened Plum, Holly came on board as Plum's manager. Holly opened her own shop, Hello June, while she was working at Plum. She started with a tiny space selling fun and unique party supplies, balloons, and gifts. In 2015, she left Plum to focus on her shop and her family, and expanded Hello June to include all things baby in her new bigger space in Spice.
Owner of Twisted Simplicity, 7 years
"My favorite thing about Spice is hearing the customers' remarks at they top the stairs for the first time. There are so many 'oohs' & 'ahs' & many comments about how amazing Spice is and how they've never seen anything like it before. It's exciting to be a little part of something so many people love!"
This is just a handful of the people that make Spice what it is. There are over 60 shops inside, and lots of passionate people involved. Check out these amazing shops on Instagram, and of course, come see all of us in person at Spice!