DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — What was once the Old District nightclub on Foster Street in Dothan is now home to home to a brand new storefront that will be open to the community in just a couple of days.
What was supposed to take no more than 6-months ended up taking over a year, but Darby Stickler, the owner of Honey Bee Tees, is officially ready to open her doors and bring a new business to downtown Dothan.
Stickler started her custom print t-shirt company in 2010, launching her then online-only store, Honey Bee Tees. Sales reached states all around the country, giving her a reason to expand.
“I’ve literally poured my heart and soul into this project,” Stickler said.
The project consisted of turning this abandoned 7,900 square foot building into a brand new storefront. Stickler is now able to print, ship, and sell all her products right from the heart of the Circle City.
“To be on this side of it and see the city say, ‘hey, we are also going to invest in this area’,” Stickler said.
Stickler claims the transformation taking place downtown in recent years encouraged her to make the move. Now, with Dothan’s big plans for the future of the area, she said her investment couldn’t have come at a better time.
The city’s brand new ‘Event Plaza’ will be built right behind her building, allowing her to turn visitors into customers.
“The building has been brought up to code,” Stickler said. “It’s safe, it’s clean and bright. “
Before the renovation, the building wasn’t in the best shape. With the aftermath of the former clubs visible, several roof leaks and even a bad smell.
“It was dark and wet and nasty,” Stickler said. “It’s bright and cheerful, it’s exciting to see those and see the contrast of what it was and what it is now.”
Stickler says the amount of work put in is worth it not only for her business but for the growth of the community.
“It had been empty for five years,” Stickler said. “It had probably been overlooked much longer than that.”
Now that store is up and ready to go and serve the Wiregrass, Stickler is excited for the community to have yet another store on Foster Street.
“A lot of people have frequented this building over the years,” Stickler said. “They have had class reunions, they have parties, they have had events here. It’s really fun when they come in and see where we are now and they can appreciate the change.”
Stickler tells WDHN she is excited to welcome customers to see the store and the transformation for themselves.
Honey Bee Tees is officially set to open on May 2.