Life Along the Streetcar with Tom Heath from The Heath Team Nova Home Loans

This week, our guest is Annette Martin. She’s the owner of Elle Boutique in downtown Tucson, and she’s putting on events which celebrate women, our local food heritage, and even a local connection helping teens learn the foundations of entrepreneurship.

Today is August 22nd, my name is Tom Heath and you’re listening to “Life Along the Streetcar”.

Each and every Sunday our focus is on Social, Cultural and Economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban Core and we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A Mountain to the U of A and all stops in between. You get the inside track- right here on 99.1 FM, streaming on DowntownRadio.org– we’re also available on your iPhone or Android using our very own Downtown Radio app.

Reach us by email contact@lifealongthestreetcar.org — interact with us on Facebook @Life Along the Streetcar and follow us on Twitter @StreetcarLife

Our intro music is by Ryanhood and we exit with music from Annie Ross, “Farmer’s Market.”

Transcript

Tom Heath
Good morning. It’s a beautiful Sunday in the Old Pueblo, and you’re listening to KTDT Tucson. Thank you for spending a part of your brunch hour with us on your downtown Tucson Community sponsored rock and roll radio station.

Tom Heath
This week, our guest is Annette Martin. She’s the owner of Elle Boutique in downtown Tucson, and she’s putting on events which celebrate women, our local food heritage, and even a local connection helping teens learn the foundations of entreprenuership.

Tom Heath
Today is August 22nd. My name is Tom Heath, and you’re listening to Life along the streetcar. Each and every Sunday our focus is on social, cultural and economic impacts in Tucson’s Urban core. And we shed light on hidden gems everyone should know about. From A mountain to UArizona and all stops in between. You get the inside track right here on 991 FM, as streaming on Downtown Radio dot org, Also available on your iPhone or Android by heading over to your app store and getting the Downtown Radio Tucson app. Put that on your phone, Take it with us wherever you go.

Tom Heath
And if you want to reach us on the show, we’re all over social media. Facebook Instagram. Our shows are where you’re going to find podcasts. You can head to our website, lifelong streetcar dot-org for most of our past episodes. And, you know, we’re pretty cool These days. You can just ask your smart speaker to play Life along the streetcar podcast.

Tom Heath
Well, we have some students heading back to Tucson, because the University of Arizona is back in session, which means football will be starting soon at the Collegiate level and means, in short, order will be talking about bowl season. I know we’re just at the beginning of the year, but the bowl season is coming. And for a few years, Tucson has had its bowl game back. We actually had the executive director on our show. The very first year It came out, I believe, those 2015, But they have a new sponsor this year, and that was announced back in July that the Barstool Sports would be the new sponsor of the Arizona Bowl, which will take place on New Year’s Eve.

Tom Heath
It is no coincidence that Barstool Sports is focused on a gambling Foundation, as Arizona has legalized the the betting process on these, on these games As of September 9th. So the barstools bowl game will take place at Arizona stadium and will be followed with some events downtown for the New Year’s Eve party.

Tom Heath
Well, you don’t have to wait until New Years to get in some activities in the urban core. In fact, our Guest today is helping us put together some pretty cool events where you can combine a shopping and art and a little entrepreneurship. Her name is Annette Martin. She is the owner of the Elle Boutique, which is inside of the L Offices of the Old Chicago Music Store. And in that space, she has been hosting events focused on women entrepreneurs once a month on Wednesdays. And she’s got a new Venture coming up that we had to talk to her about. That Involves a partnership with a local Middle School farmers, and even into it is part of the conversation. So I had a chance to sit down with Annettte Well, sit down. You know, these days We did it by phone, Of course, just a few days ago, and thought we’d share her story with you today.

Annette Martin
Hi, my name is Annette Martin. And my business is Elle Boutique.

Tom Heath
And we’re talking today because you’re going to have a couple of cool events coming up here in the near future. But before we get into that, I wanted to learn a little bit about you, because I stopped by your your shop, And that in of itself is a little bit unique in downtown. Can you tell us a little bit about the Elle Boutique?

Annette Martin
Yeah, Elle Boutique is kind of a setup like a gift shop, but We are a little bit different where we are a combination of products from over 15 different, small local businesses. So we try to encourage other small businesses that like artists and people that create things to show their products in our store. It gives them another outlet, Another opportunity to sell products to people that they might not ever, you know, come Across. And. And it also then gives the people who come into the shop a taste of, you know, lots of different local products and artists.

Tom Heath
How long is your shopping open?

Annette Martin
We actually are located inside of the L offices. And so we opened up about a week after the L offices opened up at the end of February this year.

Tom Heath
So the end of February but to establish these relationships 15 different artists. And I know you’ve said in the past, you’ve got some more probably coming in that that doesn’t happen overnight. So what kind of what was your history before you open up the boutique?

Annette Martin
Well about 2014 I started a jewelry line. And when I did that, I was looking for different ways to market the jewelry. And I, you know, I was trying to figure out which way to go with that. And I ended up just deciding to be a vendor and set up at different Different crafts, their craft fairs, farmers, markets, different types of vendor events around Tucson. So kind of went online and started started looking for places. And I made a couple of connections and started setting up a, you know, different locations.

Annette Martin
And then, as I did, that I develop relationships with different vendors along the way. But also, I had a lot of frustration and trying to actually find events to participate in as a vendor. So I, I decided to start my own Facebook group to help vendors find events and the help people who do events find vendors. And so I started a group on Facebook called Tucson pop-ups, vendors and events and have Dan. And that was maybe about three years ago. And so over the past three years, I’ve developed between the Facebook group and just being out there for 3 years doing vendor events All over Tucson and Southern Arizona developed thousands of relationships. So I think we have close to 3000 members in my group on Facebook. And most of those are vendors or small businesses.

Tom Heath
And those are all here in the Tucson area?

Annette Martin
Yes. Yeah, that’s not. That’s one of the things that I wanted it to make. I wanted to make the group specific to Tucson, because what I found was a lot of when I was looking a lot of the groups that are online, Our Arizona or Southern Arizona, and a lot of the events that I was trying to you know, I was trying to find events in a lot of defense that were posted on. There were other places other than Tucson. So I really wanted it to be just centered in with Tucson vendors and Tucson events.

Tom Heath
You said something in there, you’ve got 15 or so artists in your shop, But you’re also, then you’re a craftsperson You’ve got you said, you make your own jewelry.

Annette Martin
Yeah? So I have have a jewelry line that that I started back in 2014 called WhatsSnappenin Jewelry, and it’s all interchangeable, Snap, jewelry. But then I also create my own. I have my own jewelry that I make that I had make. And then my daughter has a jewelry line that she makes. And it’s been a fun way for us to spend time together and just create jewelry.

Tom Heath
Well, I know when I came into your shop I we were kind of joking around or least I was joking around because it’s you’re located in the L offices, which are on the second floor of what used to be known as the Chicago music store. And before that, and its earliest iteration, It was a JC Penney. So I imagine when you get off the elevator there, you’re walking into the jewelry counter at JC Penney’s as you walk into your shop.

Annette Martin
It’s a reincarnation, I think,

Tom Heath
I think just it’s, yeah, I think that’s exactly right. A reincarnation things Just keep coming back around. But tell us tell us a little bit about that space, Because how did you end up in there? And you know, what was that path Like for you?

Annette Martin
You know, I think it was just meant to be because I had taken well during covid-19 all of that started for the past year and a half I had. I, like many other people that work the way that I did as a vendor, were instantly out of work. You know, we all of the events closed. There was no way for us to continue selling Our products the way that we were. So everybody kind of had to Pivot and figure out another way to sell their products. And so I for the past year and a half, had been just doing online sales and things like that. And then I started working. A friend of mine opened up basically like an indoor craft fair kind of artisan market. And when she opened that up Up, she needed someone to come in and kind of basically create it and create a system and a way for them to a way for them to be able to let artists come in, set up their products.

Annette Martin
And then there would be a cashier there that would then, you know, do the sales with when customers would come in. And then all of these artists would then be selling their products Not having to actually be there. And so I was working with her for about 4 months. Got her all set up and often running. And when that project, you know, kind of came to an end the very same day I got an invitation from Crystal Crystal pope of the owner of the LA office has to their grand opening for Bill offices. And I’m like, oh, what is this all about? And I hadn’t seen. I knew Crystal from the past. We have had done some business before, and I got this invitation from her the same day that I was leaving that other project. And I gave her a call. And I just said, hey, what’s going on with this? You know, what are you guys doing down there? And can I come down and take a look? And she invited me to come down. I came down the same day, looked at the space. I was real excited about what they have going on there. And I asked her if she would consider having a Retail space there in the L offices.

Annette Martin
And they actually had the space right, The space that I ended up taking available, and they had originally had it set up to be a barber shop. And I think they just hadn’t really found the right match, I guess. And so it was kind of just fate that the space was available. And I think I just thought about it for a day or two, and kind of figured, you know, will this to be a way for me to snot only sell my own products, but then I can kind of do a smaller version of what I had been doing for my friend and give artists, local artists and small businesses a way to sell their products.

Tom Heath
We are speaking with Annette Martin. She is the owner of Elle Boutique in downtown Tucson. When we get back from the break, We’re going to hear about a couple of cool events that she’s putting on one that we think is just fascinating, because she’s partnering with a local middle school and teaching entrepreneurship and some basic skills to this age group. But first of all, I do want to remind you that you’re listening to Life Along the streetcar. We’re in Downtown Radio 991 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio.org.

Tom Heath
We are back here. We’re going to finish up the second half of our interview with Annette Martin owner of Elle Boutique in downtown Tucson inside of the former Chicago music store, which at one point was also a JC Penney. So she’s back home where retail started. And this part of it, though We want to hear about some of the events that she’s been planning and has underway.

Tom Heath
There Is a co-working space, Its it is the second floor of the of the building there on the Congress, Congress and 6th So it’s a pretty large space. And I know she has offices desk and a few other things. Yeah, well, in there, but it’s also there’s a wide open space, which I think, with your help, as kind of converted into some, some ongoing events. And there’s two that I want to focus on, because they’ve got a very specific story behind them. But the first one in Ongoing right now, but it’s the women wine and winning Wednesday’s. Can you tell us again about what what that looks like and how people could get involved?

Annette Martin
Yes, Actually, you know, it’s kind of funny. That was one of the deciding factor I came and looked at. The space was just all of the opportunities there, the, the main our were Friday from 8 to 5. So pretty much most of the nights and weekends The spaces are really being used. And like you said, it’s a huge open space with tons of possibilities. So I created women wine and winning Wednesday. It’s a vendor event, But it’s also it was created as a way to celebrate women, celebrate women business owners as well. And I kind of wanted to just make it a win-win situation for everybody involved. So we figured out a way to make it a free event for women to come to they get in free. We have free wine Tastings. We have all women-owned businesses as the vendors. And so we are supporting local business owners for supporting women, small business owners.

Annette Martin
And through that, We’re providing an event for local women in Tucson to come out and spend time together and just kind of network and just be around other powerful, you know, like-minded business women and not just business women It, you know, we have moms and grandmas, and, and, and every Women from all walks of life. But it’s just a really nice fun event for women We have. Like I said, we have the free wine We have. We have apis, but started out as appetizers, but it’s kind of grown to pretty much a full meal. We have Dre’s seafood, and barbecue provides the food for our events. And at our last event, We had a Mac and Cheese Bar, Huge Mac and Cheese Bar with veggies for people who don’t eat me. And then we had chicken and pulled chicken and pulled pork as well as toppings for the macaroni and cheese. And you should have seen the law. And there was about 50 people in line. Just to get the food.

Tom Heath
The response has been good, though You’ve been doing this for a few months. It’s once a month, correct?

Annette Martin
Yes. Yes, It’s once a month. It’s usually either the first or second Wednesday of the month, But we always have it online. We have the event online. You can always find that information on my Facebook group in my Facebook group, or my Facebook page, which is Elle Boutique. That’s Ellle Boutique. Uh-huh, Yes, not to be confused with the L offices, which is just the letter L

Annette Martin
Correct, which was a play on words.

Tom Heath
Which I understand the L office has come from Crystals time in Chicago at the elevated train, correct? And so they do some things off of That in your winning wine. And when your women wine and winning Wednesday’s, is that restricted to attendees that are female, or or can men come in and support?

Annette Martin
Oh, when it’s not, it’s not restricted just to women. We welcome everyone, And we do usually have probably about ten, fifteen. Percent of the people who attend our mail and then the rest are women. But we love to have anyone come. We’re open to anyone, Come to the Support, support these small business owners, and just come and have a good time have fun.

Tom Heath
And the other event Before we wrap up here that I wanted to chat about, because it’s the one that really caught my eye. So I thought it was a good idea as and it. I like the partnership’s that you haven’t downtown. But it’s the farmers markets You’ve got here are coming up on August 28th. And I think you’ve called it the Elevate Farmers Market. Tell us a little bit about that event. And, Well, yeah, tell us about the event on the 28th.

Annette Martin
Okay, so we did name it Elevate Indoor Farmers Market and elevate, kind of just the theme for the L offices and Elle Boutique elevate your life and multiple ways by being a part of what we have going on there. But we are doing an indoor farmers market, and it’s set up in a kind of a similar way to the way we do. The women and wine event We are going to have about 90% of the vendors that are participating are all going to be food vendors. So fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods, jams pickles, you know, all of the great farmers market products that you love to, you know, to buy when you go to a farmers market, but we’re going to be in the center of downtown and endures in the AC. So you’re not dying of a heat stroke when you go to the Farmers market.

Tom Heath
That was the first thing when you said you were going to host a farmers market. My first thought was, well, where in the heck are you going to do that? It never occurred to me. Yeah, to do an indoors like, oh, that makes a lot of sense. There’s even with the rain or anything awesome,

Annette Martin
Right? And one of the things that I’m the most excited about, though, is we really want to have a lot of community involvement. And I’ve reached out to a lot of local farms and Growers, and we’re working on developing some of those relationships, And we have quite a few that are very interested in being a part of it. But we are actually partnering up with Imago Dei Middle School who is right there, a block away from us in the middle of downtown. And their middle school actually has an agriculture program where the teach the kids from beginning to end on how to grow plants and grow food And Harvest it, and then how to do everything from growing it, to then taking it somewhere and selling it as a product to an end user. And they actually partner up with into it as well. And they come in, and they teach the kids all the business skills. So it’s an amazing program that they have.

Annette Martin
And I’m so honored and grateful that we’re going to be able to partner with them, and we’ll have them as like the main course, Or of our Farmers Market. The kids also do some crafts, So they’ll be like some of them make pots for the plants that they grow and things like that. So they’ll have some of their hand crafts there as well, And they’ll be learning how to operate a business, and we get to be a part of that. So I’m really super excited about that.

Tom Heath
Yeah, that when you started telling me about that connection, it was really quite amazing. Do you know? Are they at other locations? Or is this their first opportunity to get out and Kind of try this experiment?

Annette Martin
Well, actually, they have. They have participated in some other farmers markets, The problem that they have when I talked to them about this. The problem that they’ve had in the past is that a lot of the farmers markets are either very far away from. They really want them to participate. And that’s just not really feasible or logistically possible Kids. It’s seems to be just that much more ideal situation for them to be so close. They’re literally a half a block away walking distance so they can just bring the kids right over. And it makes it so much easier for all of the parents. So that has been an issue in the past and what they have. They have done this before They have sold at other farmers markets, so it’s not totally new, but I think this is just going to be a much better fit for them.

Tom Heath
Well, the show is going to Airing on Sunday, the 22nd. So that would be the e as of the air date. It’ll be this coming Saturday, the 28th That’s from 9 to 1 and it is inside the L Just the letter L offices, Second floor of the former Chicago music store. And while you’re in there, I’m assuming that L Boutique ele will be open and have some opportunities for people to check out your wares as well.

Annette Martin
Yes, we will.

Tom Heath
And for people to find out information is all of this still on your Your Facebook page?

Annette Martin
It is. It is on my personal Facebook page, which is Annette Martin, but it is also on the Elle Boutique Group and L Boutique downtown business page.

Tom Heath
Well, and I appreciate your time. I know it’s a tremendous amount of energy to pull these things together in the fact that you are focusing on local on artists, on specific groups That really need to get representation out there. I think that’s wonderful. And I’m so excited about your partnership with a middle school in the middle Downtown, hosting an indoor farmers market, and the are participating in indoors, farmers market in the middle of downtown things You don’t always see, and I don’t think we would without your effort. So thank you for that.

Annette Martin
Thank you, Tom, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.

Tom Heath
All right, Well, you have the best of luck, and I will talk to you

Annette Martin
soon. Okay, Thank you. Bye, Bye,

Tom Heath
Absolutely Love to hear of those Partnerships and a block away in downtown, And, you know, think that we have a middle school in downtown Tucson that is putting on a farmers and entrepreneur type of class for their kids that is now partnering with a retailer to create an opportunity for even more exposure and learning. Love, Love that idea And think I will head down there and check out the produce myself. Well, my name is Tom Heath, and you were listening to Life along the streetcar on Downtown Radio 991 FM and available for streaming on Downtown Radio.org.

Tom Heath
Why get your swag on? Check out some of the cool DJ shows We’ve got throughout the week. If you listened last week’s show, we had to DJ Bank the musical bum. It does the show art of easing on Sundays. Fantastic interview. And if you miss that, or any of our other interviews, head over to Life along the streetcar dot-org, ask your smart speaker to play the lifelong streetcar podcast, or find us pretty much anywhere where podcasts are found That would include Today show with a net Martin of L Boutique will get At out on the podcasting circuit, probably by tomorrow, I think about how fast we can get those things turned around. But again, Annette, thanks for your time. Today.

Tom Heath
Next week We have a another amazing guest coming on the show since Rick Joy. He is an architect here in Tucson, and his work is international. You see him all over the world, and we had a chance to schedule a meeting with him, And we’ll be sitting down this week to talk with him about sort of Of his process, how they select projects and how he is, influence The world on how the influence, how the world is, influenced him and doing all this out of a studio here in the Barrio, just outside of downtown proper. And if you know of any shows that we should be featuring any guests, any stories to highlight and hidden gems to make the world know about, don’t hesitate to reach out to us on our Facebook page, or shoot us an email contact at Life along the street Dot-org. If you tag us share our stuff, put up, put our name on your stuff, will will share the things that are appropriate for the urban core as we were big into the collaboration here.

Tom Heath
Well, I want to leave you a little music today, think that it is appropriate. This is from Annie Ross. It’s from a 1987 album called anti Ross sayings. And the song title is Farmers Market. So it seems appropriate for today. Well, my name is Tom Heath. You’ve been Listening to Life along the streetcar. I hope you have a great week and tune in for another exciting episode next Sunday. Until then, Here’s any Ross with Farmers Market.

This page provided by The Heath Team at Nova Home Loans®

Tom Heath - Senior Loan Officer with Nova Home Loans
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