New store opens downtown

Published 10:14 am Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring may still be a few weeks off, but that didn’t stop a dragonfly from landing Thursday on Washington Street.

The Dragonfly, a new gift shop located in the former Men’s Closet building, 1211 Washington St., held its grand opening Thursday morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by more than 20 people who braved temperatures in the mid-30s and a stiff wind to welcome the business owned by Chad and Shanon Shealy to downtown.

The store is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Shanon Shealy said, adding she was surprised during an earlier visit to downtown that there were no opportunities for people to shop after 5 p.m.

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“This store opening shows that entrepreneurship is alive and well in the City of Vicksburg,” South Ward Aldermen Willis Thompson said before the ceremony.

Shealy, whose husband is the Vicksburg Warren School District Superintendent, said the store will offer jewelry, T-shirts, pottery, candles, home decor items, totes and purses and art by Mississippi artists.

The downtown area impressed Shannon and her husband when they visited the city one year ago, she said.

“When we decided to open a business, we knew we wanted to invest in downtown,” she said. “When the opportunity came to purchase this building, we moved ahead. The downtown area is unique, it has a lot of historic buildings, and it’s a beautiful area. We just love it.”

She said they decided to name the store The Dragonfly, “because the dragonfly in almost every part of the world symbolizes change, and change in the perspective of self-realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.”

Shealy said the dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what is on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.

“This meaning seemed appropriate for our family as we are excited about the positive changes that are happening and coming in Vicksburg,” she said. “We look forward to being a part of this positive change and all the good things yet to come. The Dragonfly gift shop will be yet another opportunity for our family to connect to the community.

“There have been so many that have been so good to us since we have been here and we hope to be able to pay it forward in many ways back to the community.  We will strive to provide quality customer service as that is very important to me. The Dragonfly may overlook the river but we will not overlook our customers.”

Shealy, who has a bachelor’s degree in accounting and a masters of taxation and 12 years experience in retail, said she decided to open her shop after she and her family had been in the area for more than a year, adding, “I decided to open my own shop here in Vicksburg as part of our continued support and commitment to the Vicksburg community.”

“We are excited to welcome another business to downtown,” Vicksburg Main Street executive director Kim Hopkins said.

She said the Shealys’ decision to locate downtown would serve as an incentive for other businesses to locate in the area.

“We are getting calls from people asking about locating their business downtown,” she said. “Washington Street is growing, and we’re very happy we’re gaining another resident.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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