SPRINGFIELD -- Carlson & Co. unwrapped a lot of new products just in time for Christmas shopping.
The downtown boutique, which opened a couple months ago in the former Walt’s Furniture building, conducted a grand opening Saturday and Sunday.
“Basically, this is our first open house, Carlson & Co. owner James Carlson said Saturday. “We kind of used it as our grand opening and to kind of launch all our new products.”
Carlson’s store features stylish clothing, jewelry, decorative items, flowers, gourmet food and lots more. The food items include special ice cream products from Savannah and a wide variety of barbecue sauces.
“We’ve launched a lot of new products and we’ve kind tied it in with our open house,” Carlson said. “We’ve seen a great turnout today. Several hundred people have some in since early this morning.”
Carlson said customer traffic and sales were also up for Black Friday shopping.
“We are just excited that the community has supported us — basically supporting a small retail store,” he said.
The grand opening featured special guests Catherine Altamare and Santa Claus. Altamare, an up-and-coming Nashville artist, serenaded customers during two sets Saturday.
“We love her and she is doing a great job here,” Carlson said.
Santa visited the boutique Sunday. In addition, customers were treated to photographs and refreshments both days.
Just outside the building, a bouncy house were available for frolicking children.
“These things are free,” Carlson said. “We offer them to the community for the support they’ve given us the last two months. Also, to give them an incentive to come in, we are offering them twenty percent off everything in the store, which is a great thing for them to be available to shop.”
Carlson & Co. is drawing customers from well outside the borders of Effingham County, a fact that he finds “rewarding.”
“With our point-of-sales system, we are able to track where people are coming from,” he said. “Basically, we are having a lot of people coming from Savannah, The Landings, Wilmington Island, Pooler. ... We even had a women’s group from Sylvania two weeks ago — about eighteen women — who came in and spent quite a bit of money.
Carlson & Co. offers online shopping options for those wary of getting out of the house because of COVID-19.
“We do have a full e-commerce site and we do ship,” he said. “We also deliver with our full line gourmet foods, cheesecakes and things like that. A neat item that we are able to bring into the community is to be able to have the capability of having e-commerce and retail all in one in a small community.
“We are offering a lot of the major brands. Most retailers are limited. You have to go into Savannah to get major brands such as the Burlebo and Properly Tied and Jenn & Co. We are able to offer those brands locally.”
The web address for Carlson & Co. , which also plans weddings and other events, is www.carlsonco.com.