Tallahassee Boutique Helps Business Damaged by Arson

Exclusive Heat on South Adam St.
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jul 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-28 01:44:01-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) -- Terrance Hunter knew he had to act fast. His store called Da Plugg suffered thousands of dollars in damage after an intentional fire destroyed his business and four others in May, killing Aaron Goodwin, the owner of the shoe store Exclusive Heat.

"I was on the way to the shop, and the sheriff called me, and was saying there had been a fire," Hunter said. "Of course, I was worried."

"It's definitely suffered a lot, suffered a lot, but, you know, we're coming back," he added. "We're trying to just persevere and keep going."

That's when Marie Soanes stepped in. She owns a boutique not far from the strip and offered Hunter a place in the back of her store.

"It's the best thing to do for other people, because you have to open the door to give somebody else another opportunity not to lose their job," Soanes said.

And so just a week after losing his store, Hunter found himself back in business.

"It's just good to see a fellow businessperson and reach out to us and say, 'Hey look. I know you guys are down. Come on in. Come in here and try to get yourself back up,'" Hunter said.

"I wish it was more than one [business], because my place is big enough for more than one person," Soanes said.

Soanes said she didn't hesitate to lend a helping hand. To her, it's more about reaching out to those who don't have anything.

"These days, people are thinking about themselves," Soanes said. "You have to look at the situation. Somebody has their house to live, their children."

"It means the world," Hunter said. "It shows that there are still people that will reach out in the community."

"If you open a door, don't expect that person to owe you something," Soanes said. "Expect that God has another bigger door for your future."

Hunter said his store will move into a new location Saturday across from his former store. He says he'll keep his current location at Marie's Fashion as well.