Family opens gift shop, finding a new season for their own dreams

Published 11:39 pm Saturday, October 13, 2007

NATCHEZ — Their store may look and smell like autumn, but that’s exactly what the owners of new Natchez shop Seasons were hoping for.

Owned by mother and daughters trio Melva Findley, Melissa Findley and Sarah Roberts, the 406 Franklin St., gift shop has been open for approximately two weeks.

“This (shop) has been our dream for years,” Melva said. “All three found ourselves at a season in life where we could do this — hence our name.”

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Getting the store together was relatively easy for the three new owners, further reinforcing their philosophy that to everything there is a season, and this is their season to open the shop, Melva said.

“We searched and looked and prayed, and when we found this place it was only about six weeks from leasing to open,” she said.

And things have gone well, Sarah said.

“October was such a great season to open,” she said.

Specializing in gifts, home décor and yard decoration, the shop offers a range of goods from wall hangings to hand-crafted throw rugs to inspirational items.

One of the inspirational items the store offers is the clinging cross, a crucifix shaped to fit into the palm of a praying hand.

“Those have been very popular,” Melva said. “They have already sold out.”

The store has a distinct sweet scent, which Melva credits to the candles they sell.

“People come in and ask us what the smell in here is,” she said, gesturing to a green candle. “I tell them it’s our signature smell — kudzu.”

One room in the store is dedicated completely to the South, whether it is products that are made regionally or products about the South.

“We tried to gear to tourists who are from the North or even Europe, but we also have enough unique merchandise that local people can come in and shop,” Melissa said. “That was one of our main goals.”

Melissa is head of the medical records department at Natchez Regional Hospital, and Melva also works there as a medical transcriptionist, but the three owners work the store themselves.

“We hope to be able to hire some help soon,” Melissa said. “Other than selling out on some of the merchandise, we hope the only other problem we have is getting so much business we have to hire more people.”