Main Street South Carolina has recognized Michelle Compton of the Vault Salon and Spa in Laurens with the 2019 Main Street South Carolina Master Merchant Award

The award recognizes excellence in the retail field and is awarded to a merchant who is innovative and committed to downtown revitalization and exemplifies creativity and success in merchandising, inventory, display and value-added retailing and services.

In 2015, Michelle Compton bought a former bank building in downtown Laurens. She spent $25,000 to renovate the ground floor in order to open the Vault Salon and Spa. She continued the rehabilitation work in 2017, completing a $40,000 renovation to the building’s second floor to make it usable for massage and pedicure rooms.

Beyond her own business, Compton has actively served on the Main Street Laurens committees for design, promotion and economic development. Concerned that no one but property owners and the Main Street Laurens staff knew about downtown properties for sale or rent, she worked to create window signage advertising available buildings to promote development. The signs featured historic images of the building as well as ideas on what kind of businesses could open in the location, based on market analysis. Phone calls began soon after the first sign went up, and three new businesses have opened since. Compton also identified the need for an improved inventory of available locations and a map, and so she helped create these resources.

As part of the Main Street Laurens Design Team, Compton has worked to create life and visual interest for sidewalks and storefronts. Placing a newly painted old bicycle in front of her building, she now decorates it to match holiday seasons.

Compton also serves on the Promotion Team, working to plan and develop downtown events. Finally Friday on the Square is a key example, an event of live music, extended shopping hours and dinner specials on the final Friday of every month from April to September. For this series, Compton has helped foster participation from her fellow business owners, and has added family games.
“Michelle is an exemplary downtown champion. She invests her own time and resources as a devoted supporter of downtown Laurens and its success,” said Jenny Boulware, Main Street SC manager.
Main Street SC is a program of the Municipal Association of South Carolina. It empowers residents, business owners and local officials with the knowledge, skills, tools and organizational structure necessary to revitalize their downtowns and neighborhood commercial districts into vibrant centers of commerce and community.

Main Street SC follows the National Main Street’s Four Point Approach – economic vitality, design, promotion and organization. Each year, Main Street South Carolina recognizes members’ achievements and successes in downtown revitalization. For more information, visit the Municipal Association’s website at (keyword: Main Street).