HELENA – As many of Helena’s business prepare for Small Business Saturday, one new store owner wants to bring attention to what’s often called the city’s Sixth Ward and infuse new life into the neighborhood.
Six months ago, Megan Malkin opened Mae & June Vintage Market at 1238 Bozeman Avenue, where she sells a variety of antiques and vintage goods sourced from across Montana, as well as new items.
“I believe that god planted me here, and there’s a lot of growth potential in the Midtowne,” said Malkin. “So I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Malkin says opportunities abound in the Midtowne Historic District, the name she prefers to the Sixth Ward.
She says from a business owner’s perspective, rent can be cheaper in the neighborhood. There’s also a lot of parking.
Those are just some of the reasons she’s encouraging other entrepreneurs to take a second look.
“This area’s really rich with history,” she said. “And I feel like it’s really ripe for opportunity for a new story for the Midtowne. So I like to tell the old stories, while we’re weaving and building something new for this area.”
Malkin is selling shirts to promote the district, both in her store and on social media.
She also made a Facebook page to share what she learns about the area’s history as a railroad hub, connect with potential homeowners, and boost neighboring small businesses.
Malkin says she also hosted a “Midtowne Market” with other businesses this summer.
She’s planning a larger-scale version for next year.