Main Street South Carolina
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
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
(keyword: Main Street).