By Vittoria Woodill

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The pandemic has certainly created a variety of challenges for business owners. A South Philadelphia business owner that used the forced closure as an opportunity to refocus is featured in this week’s Open for Business.

M Concept on South Street in Philadelphia appears to be a boutique, but it’s meant to serve as an art gallery that is accessible to all who want to define their style by getting in on the creative process.

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“M Concept is 50% boutique and 50% studio and it’s a place you can come and we can work together to help create something that you love,” owner and designer Ethan Nyugen said.

Nyugen graduated with a master’s degree from Penn and then spent 10 years in public health but this space was in his headspace all the while.

This is why he switched careers and opened M Concept. His, or “my” concept of what the shopping experience should be.

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“When you go into a traditional boutique or a big brand retailer you’re told these are the items you have and they’re just set there for you,” Nyugen said. “I think at M Concept I try to create almost like a treasure hunt, art museum, a gallery experience so when you come here, let’s discover together.”

But when the pandemic hit, the doors to all of these fun things were locked, however as Nyugen explains that time allowed him to unlock his potential.

“2020 was sort of a blessing in disguise because when you’re a small business owner or an entrepreneur having downtime to reflect, think is not something you get a lot of,” he said.

Moving forward doesn’t have to be a mirror image of what once was, but Nyugen says that is up to you.

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WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW. 

Vittoria Woodill