Welcome to Business Exposure, a new column that will focus on local business from all angles. Each issue will spotlight a featured Southwest New Mexico business, take a shorter look at some others, and update ongoing business items of interest. Feel free to suggest business topics for the column, and certainly let us know about your own business' changes and newsworthy events.
Spotlight on. . .
Jessica's Bridal Boutique is the new bridal and formalwear shop in downtown Silver City. Owner Jessica Lincoln says her store, with a full array of bridal gowns, tuxedo service and formalwear, seeks to fill a local niche.
"We are here to serve the community, to bring them something they don't have," says Lincoln. "There used to be the Maxwell House with its formalwear. Since Maxwell's left, where can these girls go for their prom dresses, for wedding gowns? My business keeps our money here in town. I think that's important."
The shop offers a variety of products at a wide range of price points, offering custom fitting and all accessories, including shoes. In addition to dresses for brides, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride, Jessica's Bridal Boutique also stocks quincenaria, first communion and confirmation dresses. To be ready for prom season, Lincoln says the store currently holds more than $20,000 in prom dresses alone. Sizes run from extra small all the way up to 3X, and prices range from a low of $39 to over $300.
"I want to dress them in their prom dresses, bridal dresses and formalwear when they are grown women," Lincoln says. "I have the finest christening outfits for their babies."
To make her younger customers feel special, Lincoln says she often throws in little "extras," and plans to offer chances to win dinner for two or a limousine ride to the prom.
Once the prom season slows down, Lincoln says she will focus more on women's daily wear, especially professional attire, another need she sees in the community.
"I learned to dress from my mother. She was Castillian," Lincoln says. "She always looked elegant and taught me that a lady should look like a lady, so she is treated like a lady. It commands respect."
Jessica's Bridal Boutique is located at 110 E. 11th St. in Silver City. Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. For information, call 534-4463 or visit www.jessicaboutique.com.
Isn't it April 1 yet? That was the latest projected opening date being heard around town for Isaac's Bar & Grill on the corner of Broadway and Bullard in Silver City. Along with the reconstructed front and sna--y paint job, there is some good-looking woodwork inside, visible from the front windows. A nose-print assessment indicates that many are eager for the opening, which has continued to slide since an original late-2005 hoped-for date.
Las Cruces will also be getting a new eatery, with ground to be broken soon for a branch of the Ruby Tuesday's restaurant chain, at 2611 Telshor Boulevard, next to the Sam's Club parking lot. The restaurant—first of its kind in New Mexico but evidently not the last—aims to open this fall. The Las Cruces Ruby Tuesday's will be owned by Don Hyden, who also owns the nearby Motel 6.
The major roadwork project by SW Construction—with new pavement, handicapped access curbing and advanced crossing signals that will aid blind pedestrians—is pinching businesses on Silver City's Pope Street and College Avenue. Amy Gentry, manager of the Shamrock Gas Station on Pope Street, says their business dropped off at first, but loyal customers were finding their way in to the pumps after the first week or so. Gila Hike and Bike, at the torn-up intersection of College and Bullard, acknowledges the construction has hurt: "We are thankful for our adventurous customers who have made it through," quips co-owner Mike Sauber. As for impact on the upcoming 20th Annual Tour of the Gila Road Race, Sauber says the race will go on, with the downtown course just slightly narrowed at one corner. Ridgewood Motors creatively moved a bunch of its inventory to another location out of the construction zone and had an enticing sale. Still, they acknowledge, a car dealership counts on drive-by traffic, and the construction, now directly in front of their lot, has hampered sales. Desert Blossom Books> owner Kim Polanco is trying to remind customers that yes, the store is still open; construction, she says, has slowed business at the book and office-supply store.
Also in Silver City, work at the Murray Hotel continues. The goal remains to have the bottom floor open sometime this year. . . . Development at the commercial site across Hwy. 180 from Albertson's grocery store is progressing. The bu-- is that Silver is getting a Walgreen's, but no signatures on the dotted lines by press time.
Coming and Going
JW Art Gallery, The Old Hurley Store, has opened in the well-known Kennecott/Phelps Dodge 100-year-old company store at 99 Cortez Ave. in Hurley. Proprietors Karin and Joseph Wade have renovated the spacious building to contain a fine art gallery and custom framing business, as well as a gift shop and museum with local history focus. Printmaking classes will be held at the site, taught by Joseph Wade.
The Copper Star officially left its Texas Street storefront in Silver City at the end of April. The proprietors will now offer goods for sale through the Antique Mall on the corner of Texas and Broadway. Artist Lois Duffy, who owns the building that still houses Bloomin' Gourdworks, Last Day In Paradise and her own Lois Duffy Art, confirms the Copper Star space at the end of the row will be occupied by the Smith-Benton Gallery, which will feature jewelry and mixed-media works by the proprietors, as well as works by other artists. Taking occupancy May 1, the new owners hope to complete their renovations to the space and be open for business around the end of the month, Duffy says.
The Bullard Street storefront recently vacated by Repeat Boutique (now moved into the Antique Mall), the Silco Theater, is currently being renovated by the Silver City MainStreet Project. The revitalized Silco will be a multi-use facility with performance and event space for rent, and housing a retail business and the MainStreet Silco Theater business office. Alice Pauser's Silver Confectionary will hold its grand opening on May 27, occupying a storefront in the Silco. The store will offer "a creative mix of indulgences for mind, body and soul," according to Pauser, also owner of the Kitchen Gardener. The shop will sell pastries, chocolates, fragrant plants, books, flavored popcorns and pistachios, aromatherapy items, exotic glassware for the kitchen and more.
Also on Silver City's Bullard Street, The Studio Space and Gallery is taking on additional gallery space and room for classes, opening in the storefront across from the Silver Spirit Gallery. Proprietor Jess Gorel says the new spot is in addition to her current location in the back of the building.
The Southwest Women's Fiber Arts Collective will open Common Thread, a retail and gallery space for fiber arts, May 1, at 204 W. Market St. in Silver City. (See the February Desert Exposure for more on this organization.)
Disc and Dat Computers has abruptly erased itself from the Silver City hard-drive. A recent visit to the Hwy. 180 business met with nothing more than a For Rent sign. Creditors' efforts to contact owner Chuck Denning have been unsuccessful.
On the Market
The Twisted Vine is for sale, business and building, including the upstairs two-bedroom rented apartment. The popular Silver City wine bar is listed with Patrick Conlin at Prudential Silver City Properties.
Syzygy Tileworks will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new location on Bullard St. in Silver City, with dignitaries in attendance, on May 3 at 7 p.m.
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