By Lisa Voyles/Chickasaw Journal
HOUSTON – Despite a nation-wide trend toward a soft economy, several businesses in Houston are currently being established or expanding to meet consumer demands.
Brides and Blossoms, a local prom, pageant and wedding formal shop, is in the process of moving from their location on West Madison to the west side of the city square. Owner Judy McQuary said foot space was the reason for her relocation.
“Since my business has blossomed so much, I had to move it to a larger location,” McQuary said.
McQuary opened her shop four years ago in a smaller building on West Washington and relocated once already to West Madison, seeking more room and finding a means of built-in advertising. The store she occupied, on top of the Wireless Unlimited, featured expansive windows to showcase her dresses.
“I loved the windows and the location,” McQuary said. “I had so many people contact me because they saw the dresses, but I just didn’t have enough room.”
She and husband, Gary, have been hard at work preparing to move into the old Carson’s building on the square, where she also has plans for her windows.
“I wanted to get them ready by Thanksgiving weekend,” McQuary said.
The move will allow her to add three more dressing rooms, a “men’s cave,” for tuxedo fittings and more space for ladies to shop for pageant and prom wear.
“I’m nervous and excited,” McQuary said.
People traveling East Madison have noticed renovations ongoing at the former Augusta’s Antiques store. The building was vacant for several years, but will now encompass a nail salon, hair salon and beauty supply.
Owner Albert Tran has already moved the nail salon from North Jackson and expanded his waiting area and beauty stations. The nail salon is currently open and Tran expects the beauty supply store to open in the new few months.
“The (hair) salon will be longer,” Tran said.
The Mug-N-Cone, a tradition in town, is open again under new management and Buffy Clardy said she hopes to establish it as a mainstay in Houston once again. Clardy and John Jones opened the business Nov. 1.
“We’ve been very blessed and supported since the day we opened,” Clardy said. “We want to be able to serve good food at reasonable prices – and good ice cream, too.”
Clardy remembers the time when the “Mug” was part of the teen “loop” every weekend.
“I’ve heard the stories and I’d love for it to be part of the ‘loop’ again,” Clardy said.
Local business pays hometown dividends
With sales tax revenues show inclines and new businesses and expansions in town, Joyce East of Chickasaw Development Foundation sees reason to be optimistic.
“Sales in Houston and Chickasaw County are increasing compared to the same period a year ago,” East said. “This is great news for towns and cities in Chickasaw County and for tax-paying citizens. When you choose to shop at home, the economy of our area flourishes along with those new and existing businesses that employ our citizens.”
East points to several other local businesses that have been established or expanded in the last year, including North Mississippi Counseling Center, the Chickasaw County Regional Jail, Houston WIN Job Center, Adams Home Furnishings and Appliances and a renovation to Walmart 411.
“Houston Main Street and CDF are so thankful for every new, expanded and existing business in our area,” East said. “We appreciate the confidence you have shown in our area by the service and commodities you offer our citizens.”