Dr. Heidi Hansen sees downtown Charlotte’s potential. The chiropractor and Charlotte native may not be based downtown, but she understands the importance a vibrant shopping district has on the entire community.

That’s why she has worked to organize downtown Charlotte’s latest evening shopping experience — Ladies in the ‘Lotte.

“The ultimate goal is to get people downtown,” Hansen said. “We have a lot of great shops downtown and would love to see it continue to grow and thrive.”

The event, held every second Thursday of the month, has seen participation decrease slightly in the winter months and Hansen and several downtown business owners have talked about the possibility of holding it once a quarter. Ultimately, Hansen said, it was important to continue each month to provide that consistency.

The event really took off in the summer on nights it coincided with the Concerts on the Square. Lindsay Potter, owner of The Yarn Garden said she saw a lot of foot traffic during the summer and early fall months. She said things have slowed down a bit, but she’s still committed to providing the community the opportunity to stop in and create a craft during the shopping event.

“It’s a way to reach out to more of the community who may not otherwise stop in my store,” Potter said. “The craft nights don’t require any knitting skills, but still utilize things I sell in the store.”

The Yarn Garden is one of many businesses that have been on board with Ladies in the ‘Lotte since it started last summer. Hansen said she simply reached out to downtown businesses with the idea after many of her staff members encouraged her to expand on the ladies’ nights she held at Balanced Health Chiropractic once a month.

She enlisted Fay’s Evelyn Bay and The Hall has spaces for local vendors without a downtown storefront to set up shop. She said The Eaton Pub and Grille and Riedy’s Tavern have also been strong supporters, offering food and drink specials for shoppers during the monthly event.

Ladies in the ‘Lotte is held every second Thursday of the month, from 5 to 8 p.m. Check out this week’s ad on page 4 for this month’s specials.