Shop Locally AND Creatively!
- story and photos by Ellis Anderson and Ana Balka
Unless you’ve been stationed in the Antarctic for the last decade, you’ve probably heard that shopping local is a good idea. Old Town Bay St. Louis provides encouragement for local shopping throughout the year with Second Saturday Art Walks, Hancock Chamber of Commerce Business-After-Hours events, Mr. Atticus’s Friday Night Markets at the Mockingbird Café, big yearly events like Cruisin’ the Coast, and incentives to explore, like the Old Town Historic Walking and Biking Tour.
and we've hot-linked Cleaver sponsors who represent them!
Just around the corner on Second Street, Antique Maison, Social Chair, Bay Emporium, Flair, and the Mockingbird Café are longtime venues for local artists. The new Smith & Lens Gallery has gained a statewide reputation for excellence and imaginative shows in the year that it's been open.
Toward the beach, on the first block of Main Street, Twin Light Creations, Maggie May’s, Jean Anne’s Fashion Express and the new Bay Life Gifts all feature work by superb local artists. By all means, one can’t forget the iconic Jim Bonner at the Bonner Collection on Beach Boulevard (in French Settlement). Cappie's Point, also in the French Settlement building, is the sponsor of this Arts Alive monthly column!
In Old Town's Depot District, The Lawson Studio boasts a collection of art to complement the most discriminating decor, while folk art lovers can pick up prints of popular original paints by the renowned Alice Moseley in the museum named in her honor (top floor of the historic depot building).
Antique shops like Magnolia Antiques and Antique Maison Ulman can be gold mines for outsider or collectible vintage art and artifacts. While it's hard to guarantee their point of origin, by shopping locally, you're still investing in your community while having a blast!
Throughout the holiday season, shoppers can take advantage of some special shopping nights that we have listed in the Cleaver calendar. On the three Thursdays leading up to Christmas, participating Old Town stores will provide discounts and specials for educators, first responders, and men, respectively (we like that men in general get their own night to “go wild” shopping in Old Town BSL, and that it’s at the proverbial last minute before the holiday).
Also, on December 4th and 5th the Ladies Auxiliary of the Bay-Waveland Yacht Club holds their annual Christmas Bazaar at the Yacht Club, with over 30 local vendors participating. Martha Whitney Butler of the French Potager said, “It’s like having all of Old Town in one room.” Martha will be taking items from her store including flowers, gifts, jewelry, and candles.
A gift card to Huge&GiantBuy or a mass-produced electronic item doesn’t convey the same sentiment that a locally made item would. And dollars spent at UberMart don’t circulate in our community throughout the year. But you already knew that, right? This isn't the Antarctic!
December 3, 10, 17
Special shopping nights in Old Town
Participating Old Town merchants
Old Town hosts three special shopping evenings on consecutive Thursdays in December. First, educators come out and get your shopping done early and local for Teacher Appreciation Night on Thursday, December 3, 3-8 p.m.
The following Thursday, December 10, all you firefighters, emergency professionals and military personnel can make your rounds in Old Town during First Responders/Military Appreciation Night (also 3-8 p.m.)
And finally, all you last-minute-shopping Men get the red carpet treatment at Men’s Shopping Night on Thursday, December 17, 3-8 p.m.! (Some of you may qualify for all three events!)
Happy Holidays from the Crew at the Cleaver!