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Retail Therapy AZ Opens in Westgate

In 2021, Erica Jerido and Jaqueline Thomas grew tired of working for other people, both dreaming of a way to find a path that suited their passions. It was this initial factor that led to both of them quitting their jobs and pursuing that passion.

“We ended up taking a leap of faith and starting to host community markets, while we made that transition into that next chapter of our life, figuring out what we wanted to do,” Jerido said.

Two years later, the pair now own Retail Therapy AZ, a community market based solely on giving small, local businesses the opportunity to be a part of a storefront-style environment helping gain exposure and traffic for businesses to help inspire success.  Most recently, Retail Therapy AZ has opened a location in Westgate — in Artisan Alley — opening up the concept to one of the most popular locations in the West Valley.

“It’s literally a dream,” Jerido said about opening in Westgate. “We call it our magic black box, because we are in a kiosk right in between Salt and Bar Louie, and we are facing Desert Diamond Arena. So, the number of events and traffic with different people, all the tourism that happens there, we’ve really become like the local tourist shop at Westgate. 

“And that has just been so incredible. And then the support of Westgate and how much they truly provide us opportunities and support us as a local small business; that has just been a phenomenal feeling. We’ve just really been able to grow a local concept there as well as our event.”

The events themselves happen on “almost every Saturday” and allow businesses to set up an area for customers to walk through and explore the various options. Some of the most recent additions to the Westgate location are Tarot Card Reader and Zoni Girls, a roller skate shop, expanding on the variety aspect of the concept in order to provide a one-stop-shop feel to the storefront. 

“We literally have a little bit of everything; anything from packaged snacks to health and beauty,” Jerido said. “Everything is handmade and local to Arizona. We have woodworkers, local artists, local apparel companies, but we have some new young entrepreneurs that are joining making handmade jewelry. There’s just truly when I say something for everyone, there is literally something for everyone in our store.”

The Retail Therapy Location in Artisan Alley is a mutually beneficial marriage for both the company and the venue. Artisan Alley hosts over 70 local businesses, including a mobile skating rink and a puppy adoption location, all under the fun of interactive activities and music for customers to enjoy while shopping. 

“It’s truly a community experience for you to come out and support local,” Jerido said.

Overall, the fruition of her idea has been a “dream come true” and is a large point of pride for her, her partner and the business to build upon as the years go by.

“It’s absolutely amazing, and it’s truly just about believing in yourself, working hard, putting yourself out there and making those connections,” Jerido said. “It’s been all about taking that leap of faith and just kind of putting yourself out there, and it’s led us to meet incredible people. I never thought I would have four storefronts in such a short amount of time, and now we’re able to provide a home for 210 small-business owners.” 

Source: Peoria Times