How Business and Building Owners are the Impactful Catalyst Main Street Needs for Revitalization
February 28, 2022 | Logan Breer
After an exciting award for her renovation of the 104 S. Main Street building in Clinton, Missouri, Sarah Goth owner of The Bluebird Mercantile continues to exemplify the Main Street Approach™ for her community highlighting the importance of investing in their own community. Let’s go back to 2019 Clinton Main Street and Sarah Goth of The Bluebird Mercantile won the ‘Best Façade Rehabilitation, under $10,000’ award. Tina Williams the current Executive Director of Clinton Main Street shares the feelings and thoughts of the former Executive Director and board members in an interview with MMSC saying,
“When it was announced Sarah, the owner, didn’t believe it. It was a wonderful thing for Clinton. Since our community is on the small side, we don’t expect that kind of recognition. It was nice to have this be recognized and shared with all the other Missouri communities.”
Winning this award was reinvigorating and acted as a catalyst for Clinton as it showed through hard work what could be done by its own property owners and businesses. Sarah and Tina shared that many on the east side of the Clinton Square have come to Sarah for advice on ways to save and learn from her experience in rehabilitating her building from the knob and tube wiring to restoring the shelving units and ceiling. There is so much to know about rehabilitating an old building and that is just what Sarah loves to share with her community. Her own experience provides her fellow business owners with a deeper understanding of what it takes and how to make it happen on a budget.
We would be remise if we did not highlight the touching story of how The Bluebird Mercantile got its start, as Main Street businesses don’t get their charm just from their old building, but the history and significance to its owner and community. Sarah has always dreamed of owning her own business since she was little and would say that what she wanted to do when she grew up was to own a retail store. Then, her father planted the seed for what kind of retail business she wanted to open after listening to what he would say about his wishes for Clinton, “My dad who was an economic developer in Clinton always wanted somewhere he could take people to get locally made Missouri products and products from the Clinton area that would highlight what Clinton has to offer.” The location she envisioned was 104 S. Main Street as it was once home to Simes Shoe Store, which her childhood neighbor owned, and had many fond memories of running up the loft stairs to pick up her shoes. With the location and type of business she wanted to open, the name came natural to Sarah, “The Bluebird Mercantile,” getting its name from the Missouri state bird that is featured on some of her Missouri products. The Bluebird Mercantile has become one of the quintessential places in downtown Clinton as it offers Main Street patrons a variety of things to discover.
Sarah’s story truly is why Main Street is important. Missouri Main Street sees Sarah as an amazing success story and uses this in spreading Main Street to more communities so that alongside local efforts we can continue to empower business owners to make a difference in their community, protect places that have memories for the community, and support the development of Missouri Main Streets as economic hearts of their community welcoming a diverse mix of businesses.
If you haven’t already watched the 1 Billion highlight of Sarah Goth and Tina Williams check out that video here: https://youtu.be/kz1IJ1GbhzM.