By Sydney DeLosh
Mason Times staff writer
As Mason prepares to welcome new antique and specialty store Ballyhoo on May 1, fellow downtown business owners voice their support for the store owned by long-time resident Amy Bowden.
Bowden, who has been a resident for 27 years, became interested in antiques and primitive furniture while remodeling her historical home in rural Mason. For a short time, Bowden had a booth in Mason’s antique district and recently decided to open her own store downtown.
“I always thought it would be fun,” said Bowden. “We have a horse farm and have always been rural people and have always worked on our property. I thought it would be fun to be part of the in-town people and get to know the in town stuff.”
After hearing the name Ballyhoo and searching for its meaning on Wikipedia, Bowden thought it was a clever name, especially considering where the country stands economically.
“When I searched ballyhoo it is said it’s ‘an outcry for customers’ and during a recession I thought it was a great name,” Bowden said.
Ballyhoo will be at 488 S. Jefferson next to new brewery The Bad Brewing Company that will also open in early May. Bowden has had all of the drywall torn out of the building and brought it down to the brick, giving the store a more vintage look.
The store will carry items such as antiques, primitive furniture and retro and vintage pieces, giving the store a wide range of prices.
“There will be anything from candy from a candy counter to primitive furniture made by my neighbors, Alan and Deb Starr,” Bowden said.
Bowden hopes that the brewery along with Mexican restaurant Los Tres Amigos across the street will bring a lot of traffic to Ballyhoo and have “new life breathed in.”
Teresa Wren, owner of Kean’s, a collectible and gift store two buildings down Jefferson from Ballyhoo, said that she believes Mason will react positively to the new store because people “always want new” in Mason.
Wren also believes that the store’s location will bring more business to the downtown area.
“I think a lot of the antiquers come in off the highway and go to the antique district and don’t come downtown,” Wren said. “Since the Maple Street Mall came in, it has brought a lot of them uptown. We want them uptown to come in to Kean’s too. So the more the merrier!”
Teresa Bates and Margaret Chartier, employees at the Maple Street Mall, also said that Ballyhoo will have a positive impact on the community and help make Mason a destination.
“The variety of shopping will attract different people and make shopping worth everyone’s while,” said Chartier. “A couple could have a woman who likes girly shops and a man who likes antique things like fishing rods and they’ll both be happy. It’s a well-rounded downtown.”
Ballyhoo will help bring some variety to Mason at its grand opening on May 1.
“We’re excited for it,” said Bates. “What’s good for Mason is good for all of us.”