It was a “bittersweet” evening during the Nov. 1 Live From Downtown It’s Friday Night event. On a night when one business debuted under new ownership, another was bidding farewell.
Billie Kaye and Jim Gavin-Tygart took the 15th anniversary their business 6 Degrees of Celebration to announce their plans to close. Before the gathering of members of the Crescent City/Del Norte County Chamber of Commerce could register their shock, Billie Kaye Gavin-Tygart continued with the second part of her announcement to open a delicatessen.
“It’s very bittersweet, as we close out 2019 and ring in 2020, that 6 Degrees of Celebration will be officially going out of the retail business,” Gavin-Tygart told the crowd assembled in her store. “We are going to keep the rentals. We have a new focus and will keep things in the pipeline with that. But our most exciting news is we will be opening in the back Charleston’s Delicatessen and Wine Bar. This is Jim’s baby, although I convinced him, much to his disappointment, not to name it Mandeli.”
She added the the delicatessen will have takeout or dine-in options, with locally sourced stock when available. It will also feature wine tastings, charcuterie and cheese. “I’m all about the cheese,” Billie Kaye Gavin-Tygart said.
Starting in January, 6 Degrees of Celebration will be “blowing out” the rest of its stock of 51,677 items through June. Billie Kaye Gavin-Tygart said 6 Degrees of Celebration will close its retail doors for good June 20.
“Don’t be sad. Be excited for our new adventure. Who knows? I could always change my mind,” she added.
Billie Kaye Gavin-Tygart said they are targeting opening Charleston’s Delicatessen and Wine Bar sometime after Jim retires from working at Pelican Bay State Prison next year.
Downtown Boutique debuts
On the same evening, former Triplicate advertising manager Tania Beardon debuted Downtown Boutique to the First Friday shoppers.
Beardon said she used to own two bars, one in Brookings one Crescent City, and her husband, Johnathan, owns crab boat. So she’s no stranger to the running a business.
“I’ve always wanted to own my own store. This was the perfect opportunity.
Diana Tomasini was a client when I worked at The Triplicate. She was liquidating her stock because her husband passed away and she didn’t want to do it anymore,” Beardon said.
So she leapt into the breach, bought all Tomasini’s leftover stock and rebranded the store Downtown Boutique. She said it features women’s apparel, household items and miscellaneous gifts.
“All the customers who’ve been coming in here have said they’re happy to see me open because there’s nowhere to buy women’s clothes in town,” Beardon said. “They all wanted me to keep the clothing line going, so I will. I’ll carry on with the stuff Diana did because it seemed to work for her, so I’m assuming it will work for me, I’ll just put my own little twist on it.
“Diana took me under her wing. She shared all her little secrets with me. So I’m going to be as successful as she was and she was in business for over 40 years,” she added.
Introducing, ‘Shop Local’
Gavin-Tygart, as president of the Downtown Divas, who host the First Friday events, also took the opportunity to kick off their “Shop Local” campaign.
“The reality is retail is hard. Retail in Del Norte County is extremely hard... A small downtown cannot create the quaint seaside village we envision without the support of all of you. I challenge everyone to spend $50 a month. It changes the face of your community,” Gavin-Tygart said.
She said since she started 6 Degrees of Celebration, shopping local was a huge part of building a vibrant downtown. But with today’s online convenience of ordering and delivering everything, you miss that connection, Gavin-Tygart said.
“Are those people shopping on Amazon.com asking Amazon for a donation for their little league team? I don’t think so. But they’re coming to my store so we can raise money to do this. If you don’t take care of businesses that are taking care of your things, your nonprofits, scholarships, youth functions, then where are you going to go?” Gavin Tygart asked.
She said part of the premise of getting the community out to Live From Downtown it’s First Friday was getting people to go in and shop at the downtown businesses. And instead of just having a raffle basket, the Divas require people to shop at stores and bring their receipts to the raffle basket. “Then they’re actually in a store looking at things to also come and win something. Because everybody wants to win something. Just talking again shopping local, everybody gets it, but I always say it’s super inconvenient to shop local. So get out from behind your keyboard,” Gavin-Tygart said.