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In late October, Kelly Barber, with the Small Business Center at Halifax Community College called to see there if any of my tenants or vendors would have a need for some assistance with the Pandemic Relief Funding she had available. 

I was able to connect her with Ceasar Neville, the owner of the recently opened That Pops, a vintage-inspired thrift shop. 

He will be receiving five hours of social media marketing training with Melanie Diehl.

In the conversation with Kelly, she mentioned that one of the services that she could offer was professional photography with Les Atkins. 

After giving it some thought, I reached out to Kelly and pitched the idea of having Les do a photoshoot of the businesses and some of the sites to see in Weldon. 

These photos would be used to promote the theme of Find Great Treasures in Downtown Weldon. These photos will appear in brochures, on the website www.WeldonNC.com and on the Facebook page of Explore Weldon.

For Kelly, it was a win since she would be able to help a whole community of businesses with the funding she had in addition to individual businesses.

I started coordinating with Les on a date and the focus or intent for the photoshoot. 

I solicited the help of a young couple, Candace Luter Porch and Zach Wilson, to be the model tourists/shoppers for the photoshoot. 

We all met on the Saturday morning of November 7.

The concept of the photoshoot was to focus on all of the businesses where you can find great treasures as well as the treasures we have around town in our sites to see. 

We visited all the businesses, took photos of the merchants, some pics of their merchandise, and the outside of the business.

We also took photos of our model tourists enjoying themselves at Weldon’s sites to see and had them taking selfies. 

Rocky the Rockfish, the train mural, the Highway 301 tunnel, the caboose, and the Weldon Mills Distillery Tour and Whiskey Tasting just to name a few. 

We want to encourage visitors to take selfies and post them to their social media accounts. When they do this it will promote Weldon to their friends. 

As we arrived at the Rocky Rockish to snap some selfie photos of our models, a car with Virginia tags pulled over with four ladies inside. 

One of them jumped out and began taking selfies of herself with the big rockfish at the entrance to Weldon’s Downtown. 

She jumped back in the car and away they went. But that would not be the only time we saw her and her friends. 

As we made our way around town doing the photoshoot, we kept running into these same ladies. We saw them shopping at the Riverside Mill Christmas Open House. 

We saw them again at Riverfalls Park taking selfies at the river observation deck and we all showed up at the same time for the tour and whiskey tasting at Weldon Mills Distillery.

This is an example of what we are trying to accomplish here in Weldon. 

Attracting more people to visit and enjoy themselves and supporting our businesses.

The photoshoot was successful and will be used to bring attention and success to the treasured businesses of Downtown Weldon.

Find previous blog posts at www.weldonnc.com/blog. Next time, read about Making Progress with a Full Plate.

Riverside Mill: Antique mall; arts gallery; and outlets

Downtown Weldon Flea Market

That Pops, vintage-inspired thrift boutique 

Treasure Chest Thrift Store

Nature’s Mana Health Foods

Trends: Urban clothing

Stepin’ High Clothing

This N That Thrift Shop (Davis)

Holloman’s Auctions, 207 E 2nd St

Weldon Mills Distillery, Small Batch Bourbon Maker

51 Sycamore Restaurant & Rockfish Bar

Madeline’s Kitchen

Andy Whitby has been an advocate for Weldon and a local historian for many years. Whitby has been involved in Downtown Revitalization efforts through tourism and economic development for nearly 30 years. As the owner of several downtown commercial properties, Whitby seeks to provide attractive and affordable rental space for locally owned businesses and entrepreneurs.