COVID-19 has continued to slash the retail industry since March.
Giggleswick, a gift shop that’s stayed open for 35 years in Starkville, is among the latest casualties in the Golden Triangle.
Janet Massey, who purchased the business in 2010, said she’s sad to close the store but hasn’t had much of a choice.
“Due to the pandemic, things have just changed so for the retail industry,” Massey said. “We had such a nice, big property, but it was just not that viable in today’s market. We just had a little too much room.”
By the end of October, Giggleswick’s physical location at 200 Hwy. 12 will officially close. For those who feel they might be missing out on various gift shop items such as pottery, women’s fashion, handbags and more, Massey said its online store will remain in operation.
You can browse, buy and register for weddings or baby showers at www.giggleswick.com.
“We’re very saddened that we’re here to this point,” Massey said. “We made so many great relationships and we want to continue to offer the people around the area still. I’m probably even going to even offer gift-wrapping during the holidays.”
For Massey, the hardest part transitioning to strictly online sales will be the lack of interaction she receives when a customer walks through the doors.
“It was a wonderful business and we’ve made so many great friends,” Massey said. “It was a destination business. Not only the locals, but when people came to Starkville for football or events … they always seemed to put us on their list to come by and see us. We were so appreciative of that.”
Moving further down Highway 12, a new workshop opened at Middleton Court next to Umi.
The Brush Barn and Workshop, 325 Hwy. 12, held its grand opening last week. The workshop offers customers a place to be creative, design and build wooden, personalized signs.
Stay-at-home moms, Natasha Thompson and Savannah Perry, opened the workshop center to help get fellow Starkvillians creative and together.
“We really wanted to bring to our community something that we would enjoy doing ourselves,” Perry said. “Something you could do with friends or just come in and work on by yourself. We both enjoy painting and creating and really just wanted to share that with others.”
You can pre-register online to see what classes are available. Perry added the two are adding new projects and workshops on their social media platforms: Facebook and Instagram.
“We offer a workshop area where you can come in and create one of our wood signs,” Perry said. “We provide all the materials and step-by-step instructions. You sand, paint and build your project to make it your own.”
The Brush Barn also offers private events where you and 10 or more friends can book the entire workshop. So if you’re interested, reach out on Brush Barn’s website and get those creative juices flowing.
Starkville is buzzing with news this week.
Brittany Riland, Starkville graphic designer, officially launched Honey Brash LLC last month.
“I am a graphic designer,” Riland said. “I am wanting to provide graphic design services for small businesses around the community. I’ve sensed there’s a need for that with all the COVID stuff going on.”
After Riland worked for an architect firm in Eupora for nearly four years she decided to “branch out and do her own thing.”
Riland is the owner and sole employee of Honey Brash. She said it’s been a 24/7 job, but she’s always looking and reaching out to more clients. With COVID-19 safety precautions, things have actually been pretty smooth so far.
“It hasn’t been an issue (for me) because it’s all online,” Riland said. “I do have a couple clients where I’ve never actually met them in person, it’s all been virtual. … It hasn’t been very much of a problem, it’s just kind of cool to see how everything is going online.”
Riland said her focus is reaching out to local businesses to help enhance their image.
“My big thing is that I don’t want to take over anybody’s brand,” Riland said. “I just want to help get your design and who you are out and just kind of be that helping hand. It’s all about you, it’s not about me. As a small business, being able to work with small businesses is just a really cool thing. I love to hear other people’s stories and how they got to where they are and how they want to present themselves.”
If you’re looking for a way to enhance your business’s image go ahead and reach out to Riland through her website at www.honeybrash.com.