New business Royal Treatments in downtown Smyrna has been open a few weeks now but state and local officials came together Oct. 15 to celebrate the shop with a grand opening.

The specialty shop is one of several Project Pop-Up locations in the state; the program is a joint effort with the Delaware Economic Development Office and local stakeholders.

Royal Treatments owner Karen Gill makes custom window treatments and sells home décor at the shop at 14 S. Main St.

State Coordinator for Downtown Delaware Diane Laird started off the grand opening celebration by introducing Gill and her husband Woody, as well as by talking about the importance of the Pop-Up program.

"Project Pop-Up is designed to give Delaware entrepreneurs an opportunity to open businesses in downtowns by giving them retail space for three month's rent free during the holiday season," said Diane Laird, state coordinator for Downtown Delaware.

Karen Gill said she first heard about Project Pop-Up while reading an article in the Middletown Transcript and she knew instantly she had to apply.

"Everything up to this point confirms my belief I made the right choice," Gill said. "So many people have been wonderful to me since coming to town. They've welcomed me with open arms. I didn't expect to come to a small town like Smyrna and be considered a part of the community after a month."

Gill said the opening of her shop wouldn't have been possible without the help of other people.

"If we're successful, then all of you are successful," Gill said.

DEDO Director Alan Levin said Smyrna has always been a unique place with one of the prettiest main streets in the state.

"This effort is indicative that downtowns are coming back," Levin said. "Smyrna is a great place to do business."

Smyrna Mayor Joanne Masten said the town is excited the program is filling a vacant property in downtown Smyrna and hopefully this is a sign things are turning around in Smyrna.

"This is definitely an asset," Masten said. "Smyrna is open for business and we're really business friendly. We're willing to work with you."