Eco-friendly accessories retailer nabs NoDa space

Johnny Fly Co. will open its first brick-and-mortar location in Charlotte’s NoDa later this month.

It has nabbed a roughly 800-square-foot spot at 519 E. 36th Street — next to the Neighborhood Theatre.

The business, owned by John and Tara Freeman, marks its fifth anniversary this year.

It offers eco-friendly products such as sustainable wooden eyewear and chemical-free leather bags, including duffle and messenger bags. Materials such as recycled cotton, ethically grown wood and chromium-free leather are sourced from around the globe.

Johnny Fly got its start as an online-only operation, utilizing office and warehouse operations in Cornelius.

It has plans for additional retail locations in the future.

“We chose Charlotte for our first store because it’s a place we believe in and want to grow with,” says John.

The couple recently moved to NoDa, and stumbled across the historic building space. The design melds an industrial feel with similar elements as those used in the products, such as leather and wood. It is offset by bright white walls, ceiling and piping.

“NoDa is where we both have spent so much of our time over the years because of how accepting and welcoming everyone is; and that’s exactly what we represent as a brand,” John says.

Adds Tara: “We couldn’t imagine our first store being anywhere else.”

A launch party will be held from 6:30 until 8 p.m. July 19.

Just after, the company is sponsoring a free concert at the Neighborhood Theatre featuring local bands Millennial, Victoria Victoria, and Reaves. Tickets are available at: http://ticketf.ly/2uu8XpC.

VIA CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL

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