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Highland Village

Retailers know that it takes more than a ‘village’ to make it through tough times

Joe Ulmer, owner of Beagle Bagel Bakery, and Danielle Bledsoe, ‘everything person.’


It may take more than a village to survive the corona virus.

Highland Village shops are taking creative approaches to stay in touch with and serve their clientele.

Linsey Armstrong, director of marketing for the venerable collection of shops in northeast Jackson, had just finished participating in the latest webinar Thursday afternoon about steps that can be taken to preserve the livelihoods of the shop owners.

Aplos restaurant is offering “pizza kits” with raw dough and other ingredients as a two-prong item, for eating, of course, but “family fun” putting the meal together. The eatery is otherwise offering to-go sales.

Beagle Bagel Bakery and Char are also offering takeout and delivery. Bravo! is closed, but a note on its front door says: “We’ll be back! It’s not goodbye.”

Brooks Collection Vault, which offers “contemporary fine jewelry,” is sending out “joy packages” to loyal customers – a candle, a note of appreciation, a coffee-table book on travel or luxury lifestyles, and a gift card.

The packages have gotten “great response,” said owner Brooks Poole.

Poole, who moved his shop from Oxford to Jackson in November. has what he calls “flash sales” for three hours in which he offers “heavily discounted” jewelry, notices of which can be found on @brookscollection. Revenue from that helps to pay expenses, including pay for his employees.

Red Square Clothing offers “closet cleanup” in which the store helps the customer organize their closets in a virtual fashion, according to Armstrong, who added that the store started doing it in person before the quarantine.

Magnolia Soap and Bath, whose door is still open, has turned to making hand sanitizer.

Armstrong said that the Village is staying in touch through Instagram. “I just started an Instagram book club,” she said.

Armstrong, who came to the Village with a background in event planning, said she misses the events that are normally held in the courtyard.

But, again through Instagram, fitness programs are being put on and some of the bartenders are showing people how to craft cocktails at home, she said.

Meantime, Armstrong plugs herself into webinars such as “Managing Your Finances in a Time of Crisis” so she can help the tenants of Highland Village.

“Keeping them informed . . . and help[ing] coach them . . .with tangible ideas” is the way to the future, she said.


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About Jack Weatherly