Chrome Yellow goes from pop-up to permanent
Owners are bringing clothing boutique and cafe to Old Fourth Ward
After bouncing around the Atlanta area, husband-and-wife co-owners of Chrome Yellow Trading Co., Kyle and Kelly Taylor, have found a permanent home off Edgewood Avenue. The year-old pop-up shop currently located on Howell Mill Road (between West Egg Café and Yoforia), known for carrying lines that integrate a rugged-meets-modern vibe, is headed for Old Fourth Ward. With restaurant marketing-management and business-retail backgrounds, the Taylors, both Atlanta natives, hope their résumés can lead to success in the new location, which will offer a combination of high-end retail and coffee.
Architectural blueprints for Chrome Yellow's brick-and-mortar have been finalized and submitted to the city. The Taylors anticipate a Spring 2015 opening in a lot at the corner of Edgewood Avenue and Daniel Street. The stamp of approval from the retailer's customer base solidified the location decision, since most of their clientele lives in areas that border Old Fourth Ward. "The area is pretty nightlife-based with real grit and historical value, and people have given us a thumbs-up about opening a coffee shop on Edgewood Avenue, specifically," Kyle says.
For Atlanta's consumer culture scene, the couple agrees that there is positive upswing for small stores like theirs, and especially pop-ups. "Stores like us are trailblazing their neighborhoods" Kyle says. "They're catering to their own pockets, and the fact that the city can support the small-run businesses and their movement within the first year of opening is great."
In Atlanta, the buying public is certainly becoming more proactive with the pop-up shop culture, most likely due to the fear of missing out on something new in their area. Events like the Indie Craft Experience's markets, and last year's Downtown pop-up series in Old Fourth Ward along the Atlanta Streetcar route, have popularized the thrill in the hunt when looking for something locally made. "Even though our stay here on Howell Mill was extended, we still have people coming in to make sure we aren't gone yet." Kelly says. "The pop-up scene urges people to go out and discover what this city has to offer, because some won't be there forever."
The nature of exploring seems to be a concept materialized throughout the brands and the vision Chrome Yellow hopes to translate. One of the reasons the owners decided to devote half of their 2,200-square-foot space to a full-service café is to offer a place that inspires customers to hang out and be comfortable.
"We want to have amazing brands and have beautiful things for people to look at and buy, but if you can't buy them and want to just geek out and talk about them, then we'll do that too," Kelly says. Ideally, the owners want to soften things up by creating a coffee shop that the community can "camp out in" if they want to, and feel especially relaxed on the retail side, so customers can take their time looking through the brands the owners have personally handpicked and cultivated.
When choosing brands such as Savannah, Ga.-based men's grooming line Prospector Co., and products from design and illustration hub Methane Studios, the Taylors are drawn to other small business ventures. The couple takes pride in doing proper research while simultaneously forming a connection behind each brand's story — such as the husband-and-wife team behind the custom denim line Rogue Territory. Also, the raw denim brand Raleigh Workshop was an instant favorite between the owners, particularly because it's the only manufacturer of its kind that starts and ends in the same state.
The majority of the clothing is inspired by timeless pieces that encourage customers to make clothes their own, or as Kyle explains, "classic styles with a modern fit." They also integrate the images of the rugged man and the go-tackle-the-world woman in classic literature into their offerings. With their shop, the duo plans to keep the aesthetic (think filmmaker Wes Anderson's flair, with nods to dystopian novelist Aldous Huxley) relatively cohesive, however they will be incorporating more home goods, and local brands.
"We have a really big passion for grouping together entrepreneurs in the area," Kelly says, adding that the Taylors will definitely curate events and gatherings at the space. "When you're passionate about something, you have to think of where you can showcase it, and for us, we want it to be here in our hometown."