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By Susan Shinn
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — Calling all people who love zombies, punk rock, heavy metal and goth. Tired of driving out of town for your fashions? Dead Ed’s is here.
The alternative clothing and accessories store opened Friday — April Fool’s Day — at 123 E. Innes St.
“It’s really not a joke, we swear,” said Stacey Cannon, who owns the store with husband, Scott.
Even before the store’s opening, the couple had sold half their inventory of Dead Ed’s T-shirts.
“We’re hoping it’s a good omen,” Stacey says.
When they married 18 years ago, Scott was a musician and Stacey was an artist. It was she who decided to go back to school to get a “real job.” Armed with a chemistry degree from Catawba College, Stacey worked in that industry for 14 years before being laid off recently.
“For a long time, we talked about owning our own business,” she said. “It had always been our dream to do our own thing. We were ready to move on.”
Stacey took a six-week course at Rowan-Cabarrus Community College’s Small Business Center, where she developed a business plan.
She can’t praise the business center enough.
“We couldn’t have done it without them,” Stacey said. “There have been no surprises, and we came in right on budget.”
Like other small business owners, the Cannons saw a need and sought to fill it. In this case, it’s alternative clothing.
“There is absolutely nowhere in Salisbury for kids to shop, to get the cool clothes,” he said.
The Cannons said their clothing is similar to what’s found at Hot Topic — but the chain store’s closest location is in Concord.
The couple was hoping to find a location near the Comic Monstore on Jake Alexander Boulevard, because the two businesses draw a similar clientele. But they ultimately settled on downtown.
“The moment they brought us in, we fell in love with this building,” Stacey said.
The Cannons have created an, um, shall we say, unusual color scheme — zombie-green walls accented with blood-red handprints and black bookshelves.
(Truth be told, the real color is asparagus, Scott said, but zombie green just sounds so much more appropriate for a store named Dead Ed’s.)
“You just can’t do alternative clothing without red and black,” Stacey said.
Oh, OK.
Scott, who’s 47, said the store should appeal to shoppers in their teens through their mid-40s. And older. Stacey’s dad is the proud owner of a Dead Ed’s T-shirt.
“Dead Ed’s is for teens and college students who want to step outside the mainstream once in a while,” Stacey said.
“Different is good,” Scott added.
Scott has always loved punk rock bands such as the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.
“In 1978,” he noted, “my life changed forever. I saw Kiss.”
Scott, himself a member of the band The Graveyard Boulevard, said that local bands often have trouble finding clothing in which to perform. He still works part-time at Coleman Music in China Grove. Stacey said that the store would serve as a showcase for local and regional unsigned bands, carrying both their music and their merchandise.
Accessories-wise, the store will carry “darker” artwork by local and regional artists, zombie dolls and zombie-doll key chains, belts and purses, along with jewelry in stainless steel and silver.
Scott, who loves zombie movies, said the name “Dead Ed’s” just came to him in a flash. Not only will the store carry T-shirts for adults, it will also stock zombie onesies. (I am not making this up.)
“We can dress the whole family,” Scott said, his fingers adorned with silver skull rings.
Dead Ed’s hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday; and noon-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Debi Waddell serves as assistant manager. The store has a fan page on Facebook and a website, www.deadeds.com is coming soon. For more information, call 704-245-6464 or e-mail deadeds@fibrant.com.
Freelance writer Susan Shinn lives in Salisbury.

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