Retail Therapy: New downtown Fresno gift shop has much to offer
Hello Kitty jewelry, Star Wars collectibles and baby pacifiers with mustaches on them are for sale at a new downtown gift shop, The Kern Street Gift Shoppe. It opened this month at 2131 Kern St. in the Hotel Virginia building.
Downtown isn’t exactly known for gift shops. In fact, the best-known shop, Twee boutique, will close its Tuolumne Street store at the end of March.
But Kern Street Gift Shoppe owner Susan Gonzales has a history in the gift shop business. She runs the gift shop inside the Radisson Hotel and picked the Kern Street location because of all the walkers and drivers passing by. The area has a need for corporate and worker gifts, she says. She plans to start selling balloons and engraved gifts such as clocks soon.
Hello Kitty products have been the top sellers, including lunch boxes, stuffed animals, pens, necklaces and earrings. Gonzales expects to fill the store with more Hello Kitty merchandise in coming weeks.
For the men, Star Wars collectibles, including coin banks and key chains, are popular. And children’s gifts sell well too, including the boy’s shirts that look like little leather vests, complete with fake tattooed “sleeves.”
The store is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Details are available online at WeRgifts.com.
– A few blocks away, the Vintage Voola boutique is reopening. Part of the thrift stores at the corner of Van Ness and Inyo avenues, the boutique has been closed since October and is celebrating its “grand re-opening.”
The store sells rockabilly clothing, costume jewelry, boots, furniture and other higher-quality vintage items.
The store will be open Thursdays through Saturdays. Details: Facebook.com/vintagevoolafresno.
– Over in Clovis, antique shoppers may still be mourning the loss of Country Rose Antiques & Accents in Old Town Clovis. But another nearby antique shop is expanding.
Goode Ol’ Days Antiques, at 460 Clovis Ave. on the corner of Clovis Avenue and Fifth Street is transforming its back room into more sales space. The space has been used for storage and some consignment items, but the owners are cleaning it up, adding some carpet and making room for five new booths.
By Bethany Clough