Thursday, December 1 2022

Lara O’Brien said she considered other malls as locations for her ballet school, but a space at Mayfaire Town Center danced to her heart.

Tutu School, a franchise that caters to children ages 18 months to 8 years old, opened at 925 Town Center Drive in September. A downtown Tutu School location that had a separate owner closed in January last year.

“I loved the idea of ​​being able to bring this particular company and this particular way of passing this art form back to little kids in Wilmington,” said O’Brien, who danced professionally for 20 years after 10 years of training. .

Classes at Tutu School are small, limited to 10 students, and O’Brien has worked to create a warm, age-appropriate atmosphere in the 1,500 square foot storefront.

O’Brien, who was a principal dancer with the Raleigh-based Carolina Ballet before retiring a few years ago, has two other Tutu School locations – one in Raleigh and the other in Cary. She said she loves that Tutu School lays the foundation for dance and establishes good habits while providing “a balance of creative movement and storytelling and that opportunity to nurture their imagination and their love of ballet.”

Other changes to Mayfaire Town Center include an ongoing reorganization at Barnes & Noble, a continued Lululemon presence in the mall, and seasonal announcements.

Of Lululemon’s pop-up store at 6863 Main Street, Mayfaire spokeswoman Paige Coniglio said in an email, “They’ve signed another one-year lease.”

The popular seller of high-end sports equipment for running, training, yoga and more opened the pop-up in September last year.

The Barnes & Noble Bookstore at 850 Inspiration Drive displays signs that read, “Please forgive our appearance as we make exciting updates to our store for you” and “Paper Source Coming Soon!”

Last year, Paper Source and Barnes & Noble announced a collaboration to launch “shop-in-shop” experiences after Paper Source was acquired by Barnes & Noble owner Elliott Management, according to a press release.

Paper Source, which operates 136 of its own stores nationwide, offers “fine papers, gifts, crafts, party supplies, gift wrap, greeting cards and an exclusive assortment of envelopes and of paper,” the statement said.

Also in Mayfaire, temporary tenant Hickory Farms will open at 6885 Main St. from October through Christmas, Coniglio said.

She said Santa will be in downtown Mayfaire from Dec. 1-24 and the center is hosting a Christmas tree bundle to benefit the Cape Fear Optimist Club at 981 Town Center Drive, behind Belk. The lot is expected to open the week before Thanksgiving.

A Fuel Fitness location is also in the works at the center, taking over the old O2 Fitness building behind Belk.


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