You may have noticed the abandoned textile mill along the Doodle Trail has been getting a major facelift in the past year. If you’ve been wondering what will be going in that building, the answer is The Gathered Collective and Kids Play & Cafe, who are hosting their grand opening in April.
The Gathered Collective is creative photography studio that will occupy the large open space. It will be home to owners of The Gathered Collective Morgan Lamb and Haley McCall, two upstate photographers leasing the space, who “noticed the need for a space like this in our community”, and made it their mission to create a welcoming space for everyone. The studio is also available for hourly and daily rentals for other photographers, business meetings, small showers, classes, and other events.
Next door, the mill features a kids recreation center called Kids Play & Cafe. It’s a 3 story, 5400 square foot playground featuring soft play structures, tunnels, slides, and imagination play. The facility is a veteran and family-owned by Jennifer and Keith Baker who hope to “provide a variety of fun and physical activities for kids of all ages”.
There will be other businesses that may join these in the future.
The building on 210 Fern Street housed Southern Weaving Company in the early 2000s, and was an eyesore until about a year ago. It was annexed into the city early last year in 2022.
They are hosting a huge grand opening on April 8, 2023 from 11AM-3PM. It will feature free games, dressed up characters, business vendors, permanent jewelry, a DJ, food trucks, giveaways, and specials. They hope that the community will come and see everything they have to offer.