KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Past the seasonal downtown mural on the way to Market Square from Gay Street hangs a new sign over a door that's waited years to open to the public again.
"We are so excited to be sitting in our new location right around the corner from Market Square at 323 Union Avenue," said Bailey Rose, co-owner of New2Knox.
New2Knox now calls the space between Coffee and Chocolate and Strong Alley its home.
"[It's great] just having a hub where people can find us," co-founder Emily Stevens said.
Until now, the social media page turned website turned business has grown on laptops and phones in apartments and coffee shops, but never an office.
Now the signature yellow '2' the brand is known for marks their presence downtown.
"I think that is definitely catching the attention of people a little bit more," Rose said. "I mean, we're in Market Square so it does make sense."
Rose, Stevens and co-founder Emilie Stooksbury are the masters behind New2Knox, which started as an Instagram page run by Emily and Emilie in 2016.
"There are young adults just needing to find community, and also just moving to a new city, moving to a college town, where do you find your people after college? So we threw our first party started posting our favorite things about Knoxville on Instagram. And slowly, slowly, slowly but surely started just kind of growing from there," Stooksbury said.
Stooksbury herself wasn't in love with Knoxville when she first moved here. Through exploring with Stevens and having to find new things to do and people to meet, that love grew.
Now with nearly 23,000 followers on their original platform New2Knox hosts socials, small group meet-ups, gives away gift cards to local businesses, showcases new places and events in the city, and fosters friendships for those new to Knoxville.
"If we see girls that met at one of our small groups, if we see them out, we'll text each other like, 'oh my gosh, the girls who did this coffee hop are totally at this coffee shop right now,'" Stooksbury said. "And like, we won't even say hi. I'll just be like, 'oh my gosh, we did that.'"
The new downtown space will act as the three owners' office, as well as realty services for their extension brand, Move2Knox.
Plus, it'll serve as a space for groups to meet.
"We're excited to have a space to offer like 15 to 20 people a ticketed experience with local makers for them to come in and just show off what they do," Rose said.
In the windows, two screens will constantly show a list of upcoming events across Knoxville, as well as homes for sale through Move2Knox.
It's all with the goal that if you don't love Knoxville yet, then just like Stooksbury, eventually you will.
"I realized there was a need to help other people fall in love with our city," Stevens said. "And over the years I think you would say you love it.
"I do," Stooksbury said. "I love Knoxville."
The office will be closed most of the time as a workspace for the owners but will open to the public every month on First Friday.
You can see the space for yourself this Friday, Feb. 4.
Doors will be open all day. Swing by for giveaways of gift cards to lots of local businesses.