Jody Branson has a gift shop full of holiday fresh ideas
October 29, 2006
Twelve years ago, Jody Branson saw there was a call for a unique gift shop in Gardnerville. She had a knack for gift giving and decoration, so decided she would take a chance. She made a brave decision and started Fresh Ideas Gift Shop all by herself.
Branson’s shop is located in one of the twin houses on Highway 395 in Gardnerville, across from Sharkey’s Casino. There is plenty of parking out back with a sign showing the driveway to enter.
Every room of the little house is filled with tastefully displayed gifts – gourmet foods, body care items, clocks, jewelry – something for everyone. You might say, “If you don’t see it in Fresh Ideas, you don’t need it.”
The price range of her merchandise varies from inexpensive to higher-end items.
“I go to market and to gift shows in San Francisco and Los Angeles,” Branson said.
“I have gone to New York and Atlanta, but the West Coast is the best. I more or less guess what I should order, I know what my customers like. I have to order about three months in advance and right now Christmas things are coming in daily. I buy from well-known companies for brand recognition and then I reorder for popular items.
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“My customers come in again and again and bring friends. I get business from my television ads and from word-of-mouth.”
Branson moved here 26 years ago with her family from St. Paul, Minn. when she was 18 years old.
“My folks just decided to move here. I stayed and they moved back to St. Paul. Now they live in Texas. I am by myself and have no children.”
Branson has one full-time and one part-time helper. The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and Sundays from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. until Christmas.
It couldn’t be easy to keep these hours and continue to stock the full displays of varied and unusual gift items. Just designing the displays could be a full-time job. Branson is one busy person.
One could never describe all the merchandise at Fresh Ideas. The best bet is to pay a visit, say “hello” to Jody Branson and see what Fresh Ideas has to offer.
For information, visit http://www.freshideasgiftshop.com or call 782-4094.