Thursday, November 15, 2007

Leadership Downtown

Downtown Loft BusinessAs a business leader and downtown resident Mike Finan has made his mark on the Loft district! Mike was drawn to downtown 4+ years ago when he relocated from Kirkwood. He just finished rehabbing a condo in downtown Kirkwood but still wanted more of an exciting, urban feel. He explored downtown and came across the Louderman Lofts by Loftworks. For him it was home. He was Sold on Downtown!

In October of 2004 Mike began his business UMA( located @ 1100 Locust, with UMA Dot Spot is just two doors down at 313 N. 11th street.) The concept for these stores emerged out of frustration with trying to locate affordable accessories that reflected a modern sleek look for his own loft. UMA is a contemporary store that offers unique home accessories not found elsewhere in the St. Louis area. UMA has evolved in a variety of ways. It now is 3X the original size having 5 employees & 2 store fronts. The accessory line has grown & reflects a variety of edgy items such as a hammock chair, wall mounted wine rack, hand sculpted sconces for coats and much more. They have incorporated trendy Blu Dot furniture not found locally that has high design but a moderate price & Tivoli audio systems that hold great sound and are technologically advanced. Mike is always introducing fresh items that are unique to the area.

Downtown Business LeaderWhen asked about the affects of the highway 40 shut down, Mike states that it may change his customer base a bit, but many shoppers come in on the weekends so he expects continual growth. His clients are loyal & he feels the 40 shut-down might actually increase foot traffic downtown as many work & play in the city.

Along with his business growth & success he loves life in the city. He says that while the growth is amazing, he can still walk down the street and be greeted by many. Mike stresses that downtown continues to get the added stores & commerce it needs to become a residentially friendly neighborhood. He alludes to the much rumored Schnucks Market that has ownership of a local garage and supposal plans to open in the future. There are tons of great restaurants, banks, dry cleaners, shops, city grocers & much more now and slated in the future. If downtown doesn’t have it, the surrounding city does! Home Depot, Target, Walgreens & more! Everything is within a few miles or just a short drive away. Mike feels as a downtown resident his job is to shop in the city. Supporting our local commerce is what will make the City of St. Louis thrive and grow.

It was a privilege to meet with Mike so I could talk to him about the city & help share his experience. He had a vision and has been very successful in his business as well as being a constant supporter of downtown. If you have not been by UMA I encourage you to stop in to see what is available. You will find great home accessories and holiday gifts for your loved ones. You’ll be compelled to return over and over again!Downtown Businesses

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