An Old Town retail anchor spreads out in their new location inside one of the Historic District's showstoppers - Century Hall. Find out what's new and what's the same at Bay Life, from owner Janice Guido.
- story by Lisa Monti, photos by Ellis Anderson
Another neighbor is Gallery Edge, an exhibit space featuring works by 10 artists that has already made a name for itself as an artistic showplace. “I love the fact that Gallery Edge is here,” Guido said. “Art galleries like it are very important because they help support the talented artists of the Mississippi coast.”
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.
Bay Life’s wedding registry offers beautiful gifts including glassware and table linens. The shop has free gift wrapping or gift bags for all purchases. And if you can’t make up your mind on a purchase, gift certificates are available.
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.”
There’s even plenty of seating at Century Hall for those who want to rest and chat while others shop.
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.”
Bay Life Gifts
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