Main Street welcomes Good Hope

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

Ever since the closing of Cindi's Gifts of Distinction, the bright purple building on the corner of Jefferson Street and Main has seemed empty, leaving a blank space in the colorful business section of Yazoo City.

After months of careful consideration, Good Hope General Merchandise has made the decision to move from their original location on Jerry Clower Boulevard into the historic downtown shopping area.

Since February of last year, owners Holly and Jay Coleman have been in talks with building owners Paul and JoAnn Adams about moving their retail store to downtown.  The couple finally made the decision in July to start the transition and will move out of the Jerry Clower Boulevard location by the end of January.

"I am very excited," said Holly. "I have been here for over 20 years, and it was just time to make a change and time to do something different."

Because of this transition, Good Hope General Merchandise is hosting big sales every day until the end of the month, in an effort to reduce the amount of inventory before the big move.

"All of the ladies items are 50 percent off, and that includes jewelry, clothes and handbags," Holly said. "A lot of the home decor is half off, as well as some of the men's items."

Holly added that she may even reduce more items as the moving day draws closer.

Holly isn't the only person getting ready for the big move.  Paul Adams is also busy renovating the purple building for its new tenant.  Adams has added three more rooms to his Main Street Hotel, which lies across the second story of many of the colorful downtown buildings.  Part of the renovations so far have included removing the old bead-board ceiling from the purple building, and adding plumbing, insulation, and sheet rock into the space to suit the rooms upstairs and to bring the retail space up to all required building codes.

One thing that will remain inside the old gift shop will be the original shelving units with sliding glass windows.  These ornately carved shelves were used many years ago when the building was a drug store, and were also used to house many of the china patterns, glass and crystal in Cindi's gift shop.  The antique shelving is being carefully protected and preserved by plywood boards and cloth while renovations are being completed.  Holly said that it was these units that caught her attention when she considered moving downtown, and that she plans to use them well to show off her china patterns and gifts as well.

"Mr. Paul likes to preserve old things so I know it is going to look great when he gets finished with it," Holly said.

Another feature of the building will also remain intact when Good Hope opens on Main Street. The white house-front facade in the rear of the store will still be visible from the sale floor.  Holly said that she plans to use a wide curtain and mirrors to accentuate the beauty of the wall feature, while keeping her flower arranging area separate from the shopping area.

Holly said that the new location of Good Hope General Merchandise will feature many of the same goods she had at her old location, such as china, pottery and gifts for the bridal registry, gourmet foods and mixes, and women's clothing and accessories.   She also plans to continue doing tuxedo rentals, as well as her floral business.

"It will be pretty much the same merchandise mix," Holly said. "I may try to bring in a few rugs, and maybe even mix in a few antique pieces."

Holly has always had a flare for designing and decorating, and plans to bring a whole new shopping experience to Main Street by offering educational classes such as succulent workshops and wreath-making, as well as hosting jewelry trunk shows or even brunch for her customers.

"When people go shopping now, they want an experience," Holly said. "In order to combat the Internet, you have got to get people more involved."

"We are very excited for her to come downtown," said JoAnn Adams. "I think downtown will really benefit her because people come down here from everywhere." 

Good Hope General Merchandise is set to open its doors in early February, revealing its new company logo on the glass windows of the bright purple building.  Customers should be on the lookout for a formal grand opening in late February to welcome the new downtown business.

Good Hope will continue its regular business operations at its Jerry Clower location until January 31, opening from 8:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.