Mariko Walker, owner of Mtn Merch, said she has been hearing the team “my best life” a lot recently. And now, she said she truly feels like she is living it.
But feeling like she’s living her best life has little to do with the grand opening of her new Mtn Merch store or growing a small business, Mariko explained. “It has everything to do with who I am surrounded by,” she said.
“The past 3 years have been an adventure and I am loving every minute,” Mariko said. “I am now at a time in my life where I recognize the efforts of hard work.”
Mariko said she sees all the business owners and managers in Asheville working day and night to pursue their dreams in a community that understands and supports them.
Mariko and her daughter Celesta Edge are the proud owners of Mtn Merch, which has the mission to provide products that embrace the adventurous mountain lifestyle of the Asheville area while supporting the local community through proceeds and initiatives.
For Mariko, it has been a long and fulfilling journey making her idea for an authentic and local Asheville store become a reality.
She started an embroidery business at a kiosk in the Asheville Mall, but quickly grew out of that and opened stores in both the Asheville Mall and the Asheville Outlets. “The opportunities kept coming,” Mariko said, “and we kept taking them.”
Next came opening Mtn Merch in Biltmore Village, and now, Mtn Merch will be opening its second store right here in the heart of downtown Asheville at 49 N. Lexington Ave.
“I just feel grateful for all our new friends we have met who have taken us under their wing and helped us along the way,” she said, “just like Dig Local.”
Opening a store on the popular shopping street that Lexington Avenue has become is truly an honor for Mariko. And with the new store location at the corner of Lexington Avenue and Walnut Street being vacant for over 12 years, she knew it would be the perfect opportunity to grow Mtn Merch.
“We wanted Mtn Merch to be something new,” Mariko explained, “and like a light on Lexington Avenue.”
Just like the Bitmore Village location, the downtown Asheville store will feature comfortable apparel and gifts all created locally in the Asheville area.
“Every product in our store is a result of an individual or a family working extra hours to do what they love,” Mariko explained. “I feel a huge sense of pride when we offer a product that sells well and is able to grow a family trade or business.”
Mariko said she wants every single shopper who walks into Mtn Merch to want every single product in there, which is why she and her employees work very hard with each Asheville artist to create packaging and products that will sell.
Pottery, art, coffee, honey, jewelry, apparel, stickers, hats and more — whatever you need, you can find it at Mtn Merch.
Don’t miss out on the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony at Mtn Merch in downtown Asheville Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. And you can always find what’s new at Mtn Merch by checking out their Dig Local profile.