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Q & A with Sidewalk District

by Tricia Whitlock

(Photo credit: Joeff Davis/Creative Loafing)
We caught up with Janelle Jolley (@jolleyjanelle) an alumnus of Howard University and Georgia State University, to find out more about her newest endeavor Sidewalk District (@Sidewalk_Dist), which makes “local shopping as easy as hopscotch” and was recently named by Creative Loafing as one of 10 Atlanta Startups to Watch.

The Pitch:
is an online marketplace for local independent retailers, allowing consumers to browse and shop a local boutique, home decor, gift, pet or bike shop anytime, anywhere: from a phone, laptop or tablet.

Janelle Jolley, that’s me!

Atlanta, GA



Funded or Bootstrapped: 

Price of Service:
Retailers (or retail property managers) pay $100/month and 5% of sales made online and mobile. Consumers are not charged a monthly membership fee.

What Customers Get:
Customers (the retailers) get the ability to sell their products online in a marketplace setting, for a fraction of the time, cost and complexity. Retailers also receive the benefit of digital marketing through SEO as we leverage the aggregation of local retailers in a city.

How You Got The Idea For It: 
After moving to Atlanta and not knowing where to shop. The idea for Sidewalk District started off as just a shopping guide, city by city. Then the idea grew to not just a shopping guide but a shopping guide with a technical component that enables local stores to become just as technologically sophisticated as national chains.

Collaboration Tools & Processes Do You Use: 
We use it all!

What’s Unique About Your Company Culture: 
We give lots of thought to making local shopping fun and enjoyable. This means a high level of customer service to the retailers we partner with, as well as finding tools to make the shopping experience fun and exciting for the consumer.

What You Need Most Right Now: 
I am on the prowl for a new CTO.

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