By Kimberly Davis


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The former Gallery Mall on Market East is now known as Fashion District Philadelphia. Nestled next to the big-name stores are some mom-and-pop shops hoping the revamped space will give them the exposure they need to keep going.

In a world of online shopping, small businesses like Creative Silver are hoping to survive.

“I think we need malls in our country so people can actually go in and feel what they want to buy, try on what they want to buy,” Creative Silver’s owner George Thomas says.

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Thomas ventured into the jewelry business in 1994.

He first started in The Gallery but in 2015, he was forced to move out due to renovations. He hopped around to different locations but business was never the same.

“Business was really slow and it was very hard for me to rebuild again,” he said.

Just when he was about to give up, he received a life-changing phone call.

“A lady named Linda Burger called me, which is the manager for this place. She asked me to come in, do work and open up a stand,” Thomas said. “From there I opened up Creative Silver again in the Fashion District.”

Since he’s been in the location business has been better than ever. In fact, it’s give him a renewed hope.

Sandra Foehl has been shopping at Creative Silver for more than 20 years and continues to support Thomas at the Fashion District.

“I like supporting local businesses. I think it keeps the city vibrant,” she says.

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Thomas tells us he’s glad he didn’t give up on Creative Silver and that the Fashion District didn’t give up on him.

“I’m very happy I answered the phone call,” Thomas said.

Thomas’ kiosk, which specializes in custom jewelry and repairs, is on the second floor of the Fashion District.

Kimberly Davis