Page 10 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- August 2020
P. 10

  Dream Store: Brick + Mortar Mixes Clothing, Horticulture, Gifts
Theresa Proudfit, Staff Writer
IRON MOUNTAIN — Three years ago, Mike Pearson envied that his wife, Kate, was doing what she loved every day at her The Good Earth Salon in Iron Mountain.
Now he, too, has his dream job.
The Pearsons last summer purchased the for- mer Vintage Sundries Antiques storefront at 213 E. Hughitt St. and opened the clothing, horticulture, and gift store Brick + Mortar that fall.
“The start was fantastic. It was amazing, I
full store. That was kind of scary, but vendors extended terms and they were super helpful, so I was able to make it through that. Things are still very lean and they will continue to affect us through the next fall,” Pearson said.
During the shutdown, Brick + Mortar took to social media to help boost sales. “We got cre- ative with online stuff, doing live videos. Cus- tomers were excited to help us out and shop. The amount of support we had during that time was really awesome,” Pearson said.
The name “Brick + Mortar” refers to a tradi- tional business that offers products and serv- ices to its customers face-to-face, in a physical storefront. Mike Pearson said the historical brick building helps validate the store.
With an eye for all things leather, wood and metal, Pearson has hand-selected apparel, accessories, footwear and custom leather goods aimed at both men and women.
They also carry high-end, crossover adven- ture clothing and boots that are durable but fashionable.
Gifts and succulents are available as well.
“We started off with a lot of succulents and they are still really popular; they just took off. That was my wife’s idea and I was really hes- itant, but we couldn’t keep enough in stock. We were going to buy them and propagate them, but I couldn’t keep up. That blew me away,” Pearson said.
But when winter came, the Pearsons strug- gled to keep the propagated plants healthy and alive, so they cut back on succulents and intro- duced pantry items such as beer breads, pret- zels, kitchen items, peanut butters and olive oils.
Now that they are open again for the sum- mer, the succulents are coming back strong and the Pearsons have added coffee mugs and Keweenaw Coffee to their inventory.
Both Pearsons are Iron Mountain natives and 2003 graduates of Kingsford High School. Kate graduated from the Douglas J. Aveda Cosmetology School in East Lansing in 2005.
The couple is grateful to the community for the business’ initial success. “We’d like to thank the community for their unwavering support during the last 14 weeks and since our opening on October 5th,” Mike Pearson said. “We would not be here without our patrons. We’re excited to serve this amazing commu- nity for years to come.”
 couldn’t have asked for anything more. It was nice to see the great response we’ve had and it’s been fun,” said Mike Pearson, who for- merly worked in construction and carpentry. “I’ve been really happy since I started, which has been a nice change.”
However, Brick + Mortar’s first test of sta- bility came early when the COVID-19 shut- down happened just five months after their grand opening. The store’s strong opening gave Pearson the ability to weather the storm for now.
“All my spring inventory showed up and I shut down the same day, so I was sitting on a
IRON MOUNTAIN — First National Bank & Trust has finished converting the for- mer North Branch location at 1211 N. Stephenson Ave. into its digital banking serv- ice and support center.
Staff now are in place to assist online bank- ing customers as well as to develop and test future banking tech products.
“Technology in the banking industry is evolving at an accelerated rate,” said Steve Bartolac, First National Bank & Trust digital strategy and innovation officer. “To meet this challenge head-on, we have created a digital services team to both manage the pace of change and to service our customers as effi- ciently as possible. As part of this initiative we’ve converted our former North branch to the digital banking services and support cen- ter, complete with a full remodel and technol-
ogy improvements which will streamline the bank’s ability to support current and new dig- ital offerings.”
In addition to being able to contact the digital services team by phone at 906-774-2200 or by email at, a recently added mobile app feature now allows cus- tomers to contact the team directly with a secure, encrypted in-app messaging system.
First National Bank & Trust is among the oldest and largest independently owned banks in the Upper Peninsula. Chartered in 1887, First National Bank & Trust is a full service, FDIC federally insured bank with six loca- tions in Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Menomi- nee and Iron River, plus a First National Trust & Wealth Management office in Marquette.
Kathy Johnson, a volunteer at St. Vincent de Paul of Republic, accepts a check from Michael Kolasa, Vice President and Trust Officer of The Stephenson National Bank & Trust. The funds will be used to stock the shelves of their food bank. For more information, or to support the food bank, contact St. Vincent de Paul of Republic at 906-376-2400 or visit the pantry located at 316 Kloman Avenue in Republic, Mich.
FNBT Opens New Digital banking Center
  Schneider, Larche
Haapala & Co., PLLC
Certified Public Accountants & Consultants
906-786-6151 • 1-800-562-4821 • 401 Ludington Street • Escanaba
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David P. Pechawer, CPA - Partner Bruce D. Dewar, CPA - Partner Denise M. Boyle, CPA - Partner Karen L. Meiers, CPA - Partner
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