Holiday open house in downtown Ocean Springs

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - Kathleen's Fiber Arts just moved into the Ocean Springs' downtown shopping district in May.

"Everything in here is either hand-woven or hand-dyed," says owner Kathleen Brown.

Brown also makes hand-made jewelry and uses a special Japanese braiding technique called Kumihimo for the necklaces. Despite her unique appeal, Brown says without events like the Chamber of Commerce's holiday open house there'd be a lot less people coming through her doors.

"My business is not one that the average walk-by person is going to buy from. You have to have someone coming to my shop because they want to buy hand-woven products," says Brown.

Discounts are one way Brown lured shoppers in during the open house. Tina Key, who owns the Home and Garden Gallery across the street, used a similar approach.

"With the economy, I try to keep the price points in line with what's going on right now. So, I got those items that are at lower price points up to the higher ones," says Keys.

During this open house, Key was also hoping to show shoppers how much her store could offer in just one stop.

"I have the personal items such as the purses and jewelry for the ladies, so I try to keep a good variety to keep something for everyone," says Key.

Overall, both women say the weekend helped their holiday business and brought them exposure.

"The weekends have been really good with the different things that's been going on," says Keys.

And if all else fails, it never hurts to follow Brown's approach to getting shoppers in on a cold December day.

"I had warm apple cider to kind of warm them up when they came in and cookies, kind of put a sweet touch on it."

The open house kicked off Friday and wrapped up Saturday night.

©2009 WLOX. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.