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COVID-19 pandemic isn’t deterring some entrepreneurs from opening new businesses in Downers Grove

Opening a new business can be a daunting venture. Starting during an economic crisis prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic presents additional challenges.

Still, several entrepreneurs have decided to move forward with new businesses in Downers Grove.

Headspace Barber, 5155 Main Street, started doing business in October. Owner Taylor Leven said she put careful thought into her decision to open a barbershop during the pandemic.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, but I trusted the doors that God opened,” Leven said. “It felt right.”

Headspace Barber commonly services clients with men’s cuts, women’s short haircuts, mid-length haircuts, pixi cuts and fades.

Leven said she’s noted a few commonalities among the people she’s served.

“Most people that come in are trying to fix their at-home haircut,” she said. “I will say that a lot of people are getting mullets this year. I don’t know if it’s because people aren’t going in to work. They can’t see the back of your head in a Zoom call.”

Headspace Barber prides itself on being a welcoming space for everyone. Leven said she believes this puts her barbershop a cut above the rest.

“A lot of women now are wanting to wear their hair short,” she said. “They don’t feel comfortable going to a male-dominated barbershop. A lot of men are wanting to wear their hair out. A lot of barbershops don’t do long haircuts. We try to strive to be able to serve everyone.”

Gia Mia, 994 Warren Avenue, opened a pizza bar location in Downers Grove last year.

Owner Brian Goewey said that in the beginning, the eatery scaled back operations while trying to navigate the pandemic. The pizza bar found that patrons want variety, and the restaurant has responded accordingly.

Goewey said the most popular menu items are pizza and pastas.

Gia Mia also has locations in Geneva, St. Charles and Wheaton, and is expected to open in Elmhurst in the spring.

Goewey said that having more than one location has always been part of the plan.

A new business expected to open soon is Topiaire, a plant shop.

Owner Brenda Campillo said it makes sense to open her business at 937 Curtiss Street, Suite B.

“I’ve got a lot of support from people,” Campillo said.

Topiaire’s offerings include houseplants, garden-grown florals, roses and topiary.

Topiaire has been fulfilling online orders since the pandemic began.

“My home’s become a jungle,” Campillo said.

She said she’s excited to welcome patrons to her new plant shop.

In the past, Campillo sold plants at farmers markets in the area. She said the community’s response to what she offers has been encouraging.

Topiaire has a soft opening set for Feb. 14.


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