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The Bend Magazine

Downtown Retail Business is Rooted in Community Values

04/01/2021 06:00AM ● By Monique Dennis
By: Monique Dennis  Photos by: Lillian Reitz

"With my store, I want to be the platform to give literal shelf space to local makers, for them to sell their goods.” That’s local business owner Ceirra Riley’s inspiration for opening her new downtown retail shop, Commons. The passion that Riley has for her community is undeniable as she talks about her goal of helping people who are forced to work a nine-to-five job create another steady stream of income. 

 Relocated to Corpus Christi from Austin, Riley said she wanted to bring the diverse culture of the Texas capital to the Coastal Bend. With major retail chains closing all over the U.S., she knew opening a shop and keeping it thriving could become a challenging task. This challenge did not deter Riley; instead, it inspired her to open her shop in Corpus Christi, where she knew her business could be essential to the quickly growing city. 

Riley has set up her shop to reflect her own eclectic interests as well as shelving products made by members of the community. With her idea to join forces with local entrepreneurs to get their goods in her store, she hopes to help emerging brands hatch and develop a broader audience. She will also provide merchandise from all over Texas and the United States that otherwise might not be available to purchase locally.

 Commons will specialize in products such as clean-burning candles, palo santo incense, clothing, ceramics, and much more. With her love for sustainable high-end goods, Riley envisions products sold in her store will have the quality to withstand normal wear and tear and possibly even be passed down from one generation to the next. 

Besides wanting to be part of the growth of local brands, Riley said she seeks to stand behind Black-owned companies that deserve a seat at the table, women-owned companies that serve as a platform to assist other women internationally, and larger national brands that are mindful of the ingredients they use in their products. “I don’t want this to be a business where I just take care of me and my bills. I want to be able to help sustain my community and the environment, while circulating the dollar back into the community.” She puts a heavy emphasis on how much it means to her to make her shop a staple for the Coastal Bend community. “I can’t succeed unless they succeed,” Riley says emphatically. 

 When choosing items for her shop, Riley is drawn to products that provide social inclusion, that help create social sustainability, and that are not detrimental to the environment. “I want Commons to be a shop that anyone can pop into grab something for themselves or a loved one, and they can feel confident about where their money is going.”

Contact:

421 Schatzell St  •  @commonscctx