Sponsor Spotlight - June 2018
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Bay Life Gifts owner Janice Guido can’t say enough good things about her shop’s new location in Century Hall and what it means to her customers.
“Of course I love the fact that it’s in a historic building. I come from Natchez so I appreciate old things. It’s wonderful here,” she said.
Bay Life now is rubbing shoulders with a collection of unique shops inside the two-story building. Guido’s friend Joanne Saucier is a fellow shopkeeper from New Orleans who owns The Porch. Having fellow owners close at hand is an added bonus.
“Business today is tough, so we all brainstorm on things like how to get more foot traffic here. It’s nice to have synergy when we’re facing challenges as small businesses in a small town. It takes a concerted effort.”
Guido points out that she sells only original artwork in Bay Life, another advantage that makes her shop special. There’s also home decor such as lamps and pillows, table settings and jewelry.
Local artists Tehle McGuffee and Tracy Stieffel have been with Bay Life since it opened three years ago. A new artist, Donna Cowart Martin, sells her glass work there.
The shop’s merchandise is meant to reflect the Southern charm of life on the Bay, and shoppers can pick out the perfect gift or something special for their own homes.
There is one more bragging point about Bay Life Gifts making Century Hall its home and it’s a major convenience for customers: free parking. That amenity is evident just about every day. A customer came in to Bay Life recently on her lunch hour to buy a wedding gift and pulled right into one of the reserved parking spaces alongside the building.
“As a retailer, that’s key to your business, especially if you’re trying to keep good local customers,” Guido said. “In today’s world, a lot of people are working and everybody is in a hurry.”
Besides shopping with her and her Century Hall retail neighbors, Guido says locals and visitors can take advantage of shopping and dining at the other unique buildings along and around Second Street. That’s more synergy for merchants and shoppers take take advantage of in Old Town.
With all those selling points at Bay Lift’s new address, it’s easy to see that Guido made the right move. “I’m very happy to be here. It feels right, and everybody really likes the way things look here.”
112 S. Second St (at Century Hall)
Bay St Louis, MS
Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Or anytime by appointment