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Downtown open house, Bizarre Bazaar see successful weekend

Downtown Bainbridge held its annual Downtown Holiday Open House on Saturday and local shop owners said it couldn’t have gone better.

Reeves Gifts, Jewelry and More described the day as fabulous, while J. Christine Esthetique called it fantastic and The Farmer’s Wife lauded it as amazing.

“We sold a variety of several items, because we have such a selection for men and women” Reeves co-owner Shae Brouillet said.

Business Partner Amanda Rentz agreed.

“We saw a lot of self-purchases, but sold Christmas gifts as well,” she said. “It was a good, fun time.”

Karen Williams of The Farmer’s Wife said their store also noticed a lot of self- purchasing.

“We only wrapped a handful of things, it was mostly people buying for themselves,” she said.

Williams said the boutique sold primarily clothing on Saturday, but also multiple pieces of Rhonda Griffin’s fine art paintings.

Brouillet said they were concerned about how the day would turn out because of COVID, but she said everyone downtown seemed to be incredibly busy and shoppers could be found milling around.

“I think people really enjoyed being able to make face to face contact,” Adia Brannan of J. Christine Esthetique said.

Brannan said J. Christine saw customers purchasing gift cards, which is always a top-seller right around the holidays.

Reeves offered the first 50 customers goody bags for shopping small.

“We had people waiting in line beginning at 9:30 a.m. and it stayed steady throughout the day,” Brouillet said.

The festivities didn’t stop with storefront, as the Firehouse Arts Center was holding their Bizarre Bazaar.

Leigh Parsons, Executive Director of the Firehouse Arts Gallery reported the Bizarre Bazaar went very smoothly. There were live violins and guitar musicians playing songs throughout the event. Firehouse board members and volunteers worked together to make different types of delicious chili and brownies, while the vendors did a nice job setting up their stations on time and succeeded in offering a wide range of crafted items, art work and baked goods.

She sums up the success of the day by saying, “ I noticed shoppers throughout the day were finding some interesting holiday treasures. We had a pretty steady flow of people throughout the Jimmy Harrell Gallery and the Kirbo Gallery, considering the pandemic. Everyone was encouraged to wear masks and keep a safe distance. We supplied masks and sanitizer for people that forgot to bring their own. I am very thankful to have the participation of our vendors and the support from our community. I think everyone had a lot of fun this Saturday and, I’m looking forward to next year.”

The festivities will only continue for Reeves Gifts, Jewelry and More as they plan for Black Friday. They were in the midst of marking down items, but said they are prepared for everyone ready to shop and have extended their store hours for the holidays.

In addition to regular markdowns, Reeves has partnered with the Bainbridge- Decatur County Humane Society to encourage residents to adopt.

Anyone who adopts a pet from the local humane society now through Dec. 31 will receive a $50 gift card to Reeves.

Brouillet and Rentz hopes this small gesture will give their furry friends at the Humane Society a permanent home.

J. Christine Esthetique said they are also rapidly preparing for Black Friday and will be sending out a mass message to all clients on what their specials will be, as they have not decided all the details yet.

Williams provided details on The Farmer’s Wife Black Friday sale. She said the store will be doing hourly sales on different items throughout the store, along with gift card sales. The gift card sales will allow customers to get a $10 bonus added to their purchase, meaning if someone buys a $50 card it will actually contain $60.

Williams added that they plan to do sales on items they usually don’t mark down, such as Swig and Mayra.