Altar’d State started with a mission to fill a gap in the retail industry and change the world for the better. We began as one little shop - learning, growing, defining who we are. When we were clear on our vision and mission, we branched out and continued developing along the way. Since 2009, we have grown our footprint from one small boutique to over 100 unique fashion experiences across the nation.
Aaron Walters and Brian Mason met while working for a large clothing chain in Knoxville, Tennessee. The two worked to successfully reawaken a struggling division and formed a strong partnership along the way.
A down-turned economy began to cause some concern in the retail industry...well, pretty much everywhere.
The two learned their employer would be filing bankruptcy and began talking about ways they could continue working together. They explored many options and eventually went their separate ways...or so they thought.
Aaron and Brian met in Bentonville, Arkansas to develop the strategy for their new vision. In a small coffee shop, they sat down and wrote a business plan for a company with a mission of giving back by offering a shopping experience like no other. After a borderline healthy amount of coffee and thought, Altar'd State was born.
The duo, along with a few easily-persuaded others, traveled to Atlanta and Denver to experience Altar'd State's first official market trip.
The first Altar'd State opened in Knoxville as a modest Christian retail store and coffee shop. It received genuine support from the local community. Aaron and Brian were happy with the early success, but still felt that the shop needed something different.
The budding retailer discovered a new, but promising, market opportunity to add fashion apparel, jewelry, gifts, and accessories.
The Altar'd State team, now 5 full-time employees, set out on a major market trip. The store was already carrying some apparel, but it was during this trip that the major shift towards a unique fashion retailer occurred.
After a full year of evolution, Altar'd State transformed in to a serene, inspirational environment where guests could enjoy shopping. They opened a second location in Birmingham, AL.
Altar'd State opened 9 more stores in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Virginia. Successes and lessons were a-plenty while Aaron and Brian built a shopping experience truly different from other retailers.