Small businesses impacted by Wyoming and Menaul construction

Small businesses impacted by Wyoming and Menaul construction

Inside Zinks Town in northeast Albuquerque, owner Hillary Zinks is all about spreading magic.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Inside Zinks Town in northeast Albuquerque, owner Hillary Zinks is all about spreading magic. 

“Our main attraction is our magical succulent bar. So people come in, pick a pot and a succulent, make a wish, pick out magical ingredients to watch their wish grow with their plants. And then they get to decorate, and it’s a lot of fun,” said Zinks. 

She opened her unique shop in July 2022. It took a little social media magic to get it off the ground.

“I had a viral video in January of 2023 and then we kind of exploded, which was crazy and fantastic,” Zinks said.

Weekends were full of hourslong waits for DIY succulents. Now, construction is making it harder. 

“Our main entrance is blocked. It’s just so hard to get to us and I think people just don’t want to deal with it and yeah it’s hurting,” said Zinks. 

Her shop is near Wyoming and Menaul where the city started construction in September 2023. Crews are overhauling the intersection for safety and traffic flow improvements. 

Since then, Zinks says she’s seen 80% less customers. 

“I built it paycheck to paycheck with my makeup artist job. And it took off, and so I was able to do it with no business loans,” Zinks said. 

Because of the construction, she’s had to take out two loans to pay her employees. 

“I tried to stay hopeful, but there’s been a lot of times where I just wanted to give up or cut my losses and move away. I don’t know, it’s been really tough mentally,” said Zinks.

She was hoping the city could offer low interest loans or grants to help she and her neighboring business owners. She’s reached out and got a visit from the mayor. 

“He didn’t have any help for us. He just had an explanation of why it was going on, and we’re like, ‘We understand it needs to go on that’s not what we’re saying, we need help,’” Zinks said.

Now, she’s getting creative, offering DIY succulent kits online.

“It’s a little box you get, and you get everything you get here, and we try to make it as Zinks Town as possible. I made a whole hour-and-a-half long video of step-by-step so you get the feeling of being here too,” said Zinks. 

She hopes people will stop in to support local, even if they have to take a detour to get there. 

“Not just for me, but for all the small businesses,” said Zinks.

A spokesperson for the Department of Municipal Development says the construction is on track to finish by June this year. 

A spokesperson also sent KOB 4 a statement, saying:

“The finished intersection will allow traffic to move through the area and access the businesses more efficiently, bringing more activity to the area. 

We are aware of the concerns from businesses and recognize that construction can cause disruptions.”

The spokesperson also wrote the mayor’s office and Economic Development Department has worked with business owners to explore available resources.