Over three years ago, Cathy Joiner opened Bliss Gift and Home at Banner Hall.
Building her business and making a name for herself, Joiner has moved to “Fondren proper” as she calls it – the downtown Fondren historic district – in the former Courtney Peters Mosaic location at Fondren Corner.
In the midst of last-minute preparations for her re-opening, Joined sat down with Find It In Fondren® to talk about how her business has grown and evolved and what she hopes for in the new space.
You’ve been in business three years?
Three years. It’s flown by. I’ve learned a lot. It has been exciting and fun to see how the community embraced us. There are so many great places to shop in Jackson but Bliss quickly became a destination for gifts. It didn’t take long to see that.
When did the idea come up to move?
Our lease was up in September (2016) and we started to talk about relocating last May. We started looking around and some fabulous spots came up but they just weren’t right for now.
I like to do branding and events with other businesses. While I generated some activity at Banner Hall, the energy of the historic district was attractive to me. I don’t want to just open the doors and hope someone comes in to buy a candle. I want to stir things up and have some fun.
I wanted to do more workshops and events that were lifestyle enhancing. I never got to them in the old location. Here, having a smaller space, I’m freed up to grow the store to where I wanted it to be originally. With Everyday Gardener, Blithe & Vine and Treehouse close (and I’m friends with all of them), I thought, ‘What can we do together?’ I’ve had Fondren Cellars do my men’s night every year so when I called them about doing champagne in the new spot, they said, ‘Yeah!’
I’ve always wanted to do a workshop for newlyweds, so we’ll have a fun event for them – Raising the Bar – how to stock your home bar, the basics you need and how to make fun drinks. Let’s get the restaurants in on that. I love having guest chefs. So I think it will be endless how much fun we can have.
What does Bliss Gift & Home do best?
We’re evolving to focus on more grab-and-go and want to be here for an easy choice (gift). Everything, from the way we display and departmentalize the store, will change. We moved the other store around so much because it was so big. Here, we’ll keep it more permanent. Baby here, guy there… the wedding stuff will stay in that back area.
We have baby, Mother’s Day, guy, Father’s Day, birthday, teacher gifts, hostess gifts, thank you gifts and bereavement gifts. Our staff has gotten good with someone walking in saying, ‘I need a gift for this occasion for this dollar amount’ and we can give you six options like that. A lot of people leave like, ‘That was easy. Thanks!’ That’s what we have turned into. Which I’m excited about. That’s fun. We have fun helping people find a gift they are excited about.
Store hours are slated for Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Bliss Gift & Home also offers local area delivery.