Christine Walters

Lynn Hibshman recently opened a business called A Fresh Eye to help home sellers prepare their properties for today's difficult real estate market.

andquot;Often people get used to their home, they get emotionally attached to it and can't visualize how the home appears to prospective buyers,andquot; Hibshman said. andquot;I offer a fresh viewpoint and help sellers see their home the way a potential buyer would.andquot;

Hibshman's analysis begins with a careful look at the outside of the home for curb appeal and what steps could be taken to improve it. Then she walks through the home from room to room with an eye toward critiquing it.

andquot;My suggestions usually depend on how much money the homeowner wants to put into it,andquot; she said. andquot;Sometimes a simple fix will do it, such as cleaning, rearranging furniture, or putting up new drapes. Other times it may require something more difficult and expensive.andquot;

Generally, people need to realize that when their home is on the market, it is no longer about living in the home, but about selling it, she said.

andquot;Often the home needs to be decluttered,andquot; she said. andquot;People need to disconnect emotionally, to remove personal items and color preferences so potential buyers can imagine themselves living there.andquot;

For further information, call (707) 954-1270 or (707) 488-2096.

Country store in 101 Mall

Patty Mills fulfilled a lifelong goal when she opened Country Blessings Gift Shop in June at 425 L St., Suite B.

andquot;This is something new for me, but I've always wanted to open a country store,andquot; she said.

Country Blessings carries a variety of items with a country theme, including rag dolls, quilts, framed artwork, candles, shower gel, toile china and soup mixes. Some of the things she makes herself, such as the alphabet blocks, shelves and some framed pictures.

andquot;All of my items are handmade, but I get most of them from other parts of the U.S.,andquot; Patty said. andquot;We don't have items by other local craftspeople yet, but it's a possibility in the future.andquot;

Her daughter, Heather Mills, helps out at the cash register.

Store hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. For further information, call (707) 205-7313.

Jasmin Market

Jasmine Yang and Chong Lor plan to open Jasmin Market at 1107 9th St. on August 18. The husband and wife team has lived in Crescent City for four years and thought it was time for a large store featuring a variety of Asian products.

andquot;We feel there is a need here [for this type of store] because the Asian community is growing,andquot; Yang said. andquot;Filipino, Chinese, Laos and Thai - and they have to go south to get rice and noodles.andquot;

Jasmin Market will stock food from China, Korea and Japan, she said.

andquot;We will also have cooking wares, household items, and cosmetics, including tiger balm,andquot; Yang said. andquot;We'll have canned goods, candy, noodles, rice and drinks.andquot;

Reach Christine Walters at