Suzanne Elliott The Dominion Post, Morgantown, W.Va.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) An antiques shop is just one of the many businesses April Black owns and operates. Her interests are varied but one thing is for sure, whatever she pursues, she wants to be in charge!
April Black doesn't let any grass grow under her feet.
The local entrepreneur, who grew up just over the border in Smithfield, Pa., on a 300-acre farm, never knew business owners growing up, but at an early age, knew she wanted to push herself outside her comfort zone.
Her first foray in the business world was Peace Pout, an organic and vegan skincare line of products for women, men and babies.
"I became a business owner about seven years ago, " said Black, who also owns Eloquence Antiques & Artisans at the Mountaineer Mall, and recently acquired the Fox's Pizza Den location on University Avenue in Star City.
"I wanted to start a side business with low overhead costs and provide a product that everybody needs, " said Black, explaining the genesis of Peace Pout, www.peacepout.com.
Black, now 34, who had earlier worked as an actress and model and later in public relations for an oil and gas firm, had what she called a midlife crisis at 30 during a solo trip to Europe.
"I realized I arrived at this dream job I worked so hard to achieve, but I didn't feel fulfilled, " she said. "If I was going to work my butt off for someone, it was going to be me."
During that trip to Europe, Black said she loved spending time at antique shops and artisan stores. And it was there, the idea for Eloquence Antiques came to her.
"While I was there, I found myself wishing I could find a shop that contained both of the genres that I loved, " she said. "When I got home from the trip, I searched Morgantown for the largest space I could afford and started reaching out to artisans and antique dealers to pitch this unique idea."
Black first opened Eloquence in a building on the Mileground — which was torn down last year and a Sheetz built — and moved the store to the Mountaineer Mall a year ago, where the business is going strong.
"I think the reason why people like shopping at Eloquence is the nostalgia of old memories, " she said.
"It is a bit of a treasure hunt because you never know what you are going to find. It is also a space where artisans can showcase their proudest works of art and sell them to an admiring public."
The idea of acquiring a Fox's Pizza Den came through Facebook Marketplace, where she was looking for a business to buy.
"I saw it listed and I figured a pizza place in a college town only makes sense. I also grew up eating Fox's Pizza in my hometown and always loved it."
Shortly after acquiring the business last month, Black delivered 100 free pizzas to local first responders, schools, and hospitals to show support during the pandemic.
"I believe in giving back to the community, and we want to be a staple in this beautiful neighborhood for years to come. It has been a humbling and educational experience starting this new adventure, and I am enjoying every minute." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.