Holiday gift shoppers can focus their searches at the corner of Telegraph and Curry streets this season, where several more women entrepreneurs recently took the plunge and opened their own shops complementing businesses already in the neighborhood.
Now there are eight female business owners talking over coffee and tea to plan and market special events to draw patrons in the next few weeks.
The first will be Dec. 2 in conjunction with the Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting, when most of the eight shops will stay open and many will offer spiced cider, hot chocolate and such to evening shoppers.
Mainstays Beauty and the Beads, the Jewelry Bench, The Bristlecone and Lofty Expressions have been joined this fall by A Treasure Basket, Scandia Plus, Sasha's City Boutique and Fashion Statement! on Telegraph Square.
A major reason for the new shops was the spring move of city justice court and district attorney offices from the downtown area to the new public safety complex on Roop Street. Another was the subsequent redesign of the Telegraph-Curry intersection and parking patterns in the immediate area, now known as Telegraph Square.
Scandia Plus owner Berit Koskin said she moved her shop from the Tahoe area because of the remodeling of the Round Hill Mall. She latched onto the corner location here because it has several windows facing both streets.
"I definitely wanted to be here, because I knew what was happening at Telegraph Square," said A Treasure Basket owner Sharon Fredlund. She said she is very happy with the amount of foot traffic she has received in the downtown locations in the few weeks she has been open.
Ronni Hannaman said Fashion Statement!'s home in a former justice courtroom was her first choice.
"It's near the tourist attractions - the museums and casinos - the new design at Telegraph Square and all these other great shops," she said Friday.
Gloria Lee, who opened Beauty and the Beads across Curry Street in 1993, said the small house she moved into was her first choice at the time, too.
Gradually, other shops have opened nearby - the Bristlecone opened five years ago and Lofty Expressions soon after that. Penny and Tim Rubsam moved the Jewelry Bench from east of Carson Street to the little Main Street Atrium mall a half-block south of Telegraph two years ago.
Then the vacancies prompted the Rubsam's to move the Jewelry Bench out to the corner of Carson and Telegraph this summer, which opened to the mall space for Sasha's. Add in the ventures for Koskin, Fredlund and Hannaman and there's plenty to keep shoppers and browsers busy.
"We're doing a TV ad together for the holidays," Lee said of the eight women entrepreneurs. Many also are investing in newspaper advertising touting extended hours and holiday hospitality.
-- Beauty and the Beads, owner Gloria Lee, 402 N. Curry, 887-1377. Hours 11-6 Tues.-Sat.
-- Fashion Statement! on Telegraph Square, 105 W. Telegraph, 885-2226. Owner Renate (Ronni) Hannaman. Hours 10-5, M-Th.; 10-5:30 S-S.
-- A Treasure Basket, 107 W., Telegraph, 882-4446, owner Sharon Fredlund. Hours 10-5 M-Sat.
-- Scandia Plus, 333 N. Curry, owner Berit Koskin. Hours 10-5 Tues.-Sat.
-- Lofty Expressions-Interiors by Doreen, owner Doreen Mack, 114 W. Telegraph, 883-1951. Hours 10-5 Fri., Sat. and Sun.
-- The Bristlecone, owner Kari Jones, 108 W. Telegraph, 882-0123. Hours 10-5 M-Sat.
-- Sasha's City Boutique, owners Sharon and Sasha Thurman, 318 N. Carson St., suite 103 in the Main Street Atrium mall, 883-4445. Hours 11-at least 7:30 Tues.-Thurs, 11-9:30 Fri. and Sat.
-- Jewelry Bench, co-owners Penny and Tim Rubsam, 320 N. Carson, 882-8322. Hours 10-6 M-F, 10-5 Sat.