Plans are in place for a new downtown business to open on August 7. Alice Pettyjohn is the proprietor and is bringing to Fort Payne a fresh idea unlike anything the area has to offer. The store offers three different avenues of commerce. One section is an event space for large parties, a second portion is a gift shop and the third part of the business is a place to hang-out, have a snack and be creative or just relax.

Pettyjohn is a lifelong resident of DeKalb County and formerly had a business under the same name located in Rainsville for nearly a decade. She closed her doors at the Rainsville location last year and decided to bring her innovative idea to Fort Payne after trying a pop-up shop on the north end of Fort Payne. “The pop-up shop was a big hit,” said Pettyjohn. The new location is at 114 First Street West and offers approximately 3,000 square feet of space.

The event portion has already hosted several gatherings and the ample space allows for social-distancing during an event. While Pettyjohn takes bookings for parties she also plans on booking events such as food tasting, modern calligraphy, and other presentations. “One of the things that makes this place so different is because it can be so many different things,” said Pettyjohn. “Kids can come to learn how to do a new arts and crafts project or just do their homework. Moms can have a snack and drink and enjoy the free WIFI or learn to make a bracelet. It’s both a place to be creative or just chill.”

All age groups are welcomed. The store includes tables and chairs where projects of all types can be done and an area with soft furnishings for relaxation. August 7 is also Pete the Cat Day and Pettyjohn will have a cat paw print project in honor of the day. “It is my hope that this place will inspire children to discover their talents and then realize that their talent can be used to earn a living in adulthood,” said Pettyjohn. “There will be different art projects at different times for customers to try their hand at.”

The retail part of the store will sell some arts and crafts supplies and gifts. Tourists and locals alike will be able to find items that advertise the area. Shirts with school logos for DeKalb, Marshall, and Jackson counties are available as well. Other items in the retail portion include; jewelry, candles, and journals. “I have supplies for Bible journaling,” said Pettyjohn. “That is very popular these days.”

Pettyjohn said she wants her business to be about more than just making money. She said she is focused on a bigger purpose and will use part of her proceeds to help those in need. For more information about Alice Circle phone 256-979-1175. Follow on Facebook and Instagram or visit shopalicecircle.com. Store hours are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 – 2:00 p.m. Pettyjohn said she will try opening on Wednesday and Fridays till 8:00 p.m. on a trial basis.

— Marla Ballard’s Spotlight on Business appears in the Times-Journal weekend edition.

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