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Dreams and memories: Business opens in old downtown Jemison

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Managing Editor

Main Street in old downtown Jemison holds many memories for community members.

Now, new memories are being made thanks to business owners that are choosing to locate there.

The newest addition is Olde Town Boutique and Gifts, owned by Tiffany and Jonathan Gaines.

Locating in this historic area appealed to Tiffany Gaines because it is close to her house and not too far from her children’s school.

“We happened to come across it, and I thought it’s really cute. I like the outside,” she said. “We came and looked (inside), and we just fell in love with the building.”

The building had been used as storage for several years, and many people have come in just to see it since the store opened on July 11.

Several people have shared stories of what the building and others on Main Street used to be.  Tiffany Gaines said she is collecting old photos of the street to be able to display them.

“It is interesting to hear what this actually meant to a lot of people in this part of town,” she said.

Some of the pictures show a grocery store and a dress shop located in the section of the block where the store is now. Stories have also been told of how men would sit at the train depot and play checkers while their wives shopped.

As much of the nostalgic look as possible of the building has been preserved. The owners purposely chose a rustic look, even reusing cable spools and window frames for displays, for that reason.

Opening a store is something Tiffany Gaines has wanted to do for a long time as a way to generate income but still have time for her crafting hobbies.

“I love to shop, so it was kind of ideal that I get to shop and find things to share with others,” she said.

It also gives her more flexibility to get her children to after school activities, such as sports.

“It works really well for us,” she said.

COVID-19 concerns were not a major delay to the opening. Social distancing has been encouraged, and staff wear masks. Gaines said she knew people would continue to shop online so she has promoted items on the store’s social media making curbside pickup and shipping (with a fee) options available.

“People have been great,” Gaines said. “I have had so many people just stop by to say hi and welcome us to the neighborhood, telling us stories, just to look around.’”

The store offers a variety of clothing and gifts, including some items for men. Gaines said she wanted to be able to offer something for everybody. She said there were not many existing options for gifts that appealed to men, so this was also something she wanted to offer.

Masks to comply with the recent COVID-19 mask wearing mandate are also for sale.

Gaines said her favorite item are the themed T-shirts.

Olde Town Boutique and Gifts is located at 116 Main Street in Jemison and is open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.