For the past 14 years, Christie Murdoch has called Tremont home for her eclectic boutique Banyan Tree
– which sells unique clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts to loyal customers. Last October, the Banyan Box
became one of the first tenants of Small Box Cleveland
, a collection of shops in renovated shipping containers.
Now, Murdoch is moving east and is about to open her third Banyan Tree store at 11440 Uptown Alley in University Circle. “I feel like it’s a fresh and new area that people are just hearing about, just learning about,” says Murdoch of the location. “There’s a mixture of people coming here, and it’s different than Tremont.”
Murdoch wasn’t actively looking for a third location, but Uptown felt right. “I looked at spaces over the years, but it wasn’t right,” she says. “Then this came along and we were open to it. It turned out really nice. It has the same feel as Tremont, but more modern.”
The Tremont Banyan Tree has a solid east side customer base, Murdoch says, but she believes she can reach a larger audience with her Uptown location. “Our east side customers are very loyal, but I think they’d come here more. And we love that we’re staying in the City of Cleveland.”
The Uptown store will carry similar items to the Tremont location, but Murdoch will adapt as needed. “In the beginning we will have very similar things,” she says. “Then, when we figure out who our client base is, we will bring in more items. We want to get to know our clients first, get feedback, then go from there.” The store will also showcase work from local artists and designers.
Murdoch grew up in retail – her mother owned a seasonal store – but didn’t initially intend to go into retail herself until she came across an empty storefront in 2001. “I had graduated from college and was looking for a job when I saw this space in Tremont,” she recalls. “And I decided I could do it.”
Fourteen years later, the Banyan Tree is one of Cleveland’s prized stores for shoppers looking for something different.
The Uptown location opens Thursday, October 8th with an opening night party at 6 pm with food, drinks and shopping exclusives. Regular store hours are Monday through Wednesday from 11 am to 7 pm, Thursday through Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm and Sunday 11 am to 4 pm.