Marion entrepreneur opens her doors to help struggling businesses

MARION, S.C. (WPDE) - Justine Roberts has opened the Marion Fashion and Arts Complex on Main Street in downtown Marion.

Roberts' dance studio and shoe store were destroyed by a massive fire in downtown Marion in July of 2011.

She wanted to try her luck again at owning a business.

This time, she bought larger building that equals the size of a warehouse.

The complex houses 13 other businesses.

"I wanted to be able to get a building big enough so that a lot of us business owners can stay in business. Due to the economy, a lot of businesses come in and they close after a while but by me doing this a lot of us are able to sustain because we're here together," said Roberts.

There's a clothing boutique, hair salon, barber shop, dance studio, shoe store, dessert cafe, photography studio and tax business all under one roof.

Roberts renovated the building to accommodate all of the businesses and says so far it's working out really well.

She wants her concept of working together to reach young people in the community.

Roberts explained, "I also thought it would be wonderful to show our younger generation that Marion County can bring unity growth. It is needed here and hopefully things will get better here. And I'm definitely going to be a part of it because like they say united we stand and divided we fall."

Roberts, an accomplished dancer, has performed all over the country.

She grew up in Marion County and came back home a few years ago.

Roberts says she's doing all she can to help boost the economy of Marion County and she has a strong feeling her arts and fashion complex will prove to build the economy.

"I love Marion County and I always wanted to bring unity and growth here to Marion County. So that, we can make this a better place to live."