A big new gift shop full of artistic items, seasonal decorations, and a cozy coffee corner has opened up in downtown Covington, occupying the old Alexius Brothers Hardware building. It opened in late February, with a grand opening on the Fourth of July weekend.
The "Once in A While" shop, combined with Green Eyed Goddess Gifts, offers a vast array of interesting items for home decor, wearable art ( clothing and jewelry,) balloons, and many other unique items. It is located right on Tammany Trace, behind the Covington Train Depot.
Dawn Miley Galloway manages the shop and mentioned its collection of religious decorative items, as well as wedding and baby merchandise. One area showcases Christmas trees and ornaments.
"There's something for everyone," she said. She pointed at the chandeliers overhead and noted there were outdoor living items as well.
The large back section of the building has been turned into a meeting space/reception hall and is available for group get-togethers. A corner of the store's interior space has been converted to a comfortable coffee shop.
Much of the jewelry is designed and made by Belinda Miley, a well-known artist who attended the Art Institute of Houston. The Belinda Miley Collection motto is "Let Your Spirit Sparkle."
In describing her talent, a biographical account offered the following:
Belinda Miley is proud to be from Louisiana and much of her inspiration comes from her heritage there. It is often said that people from Louisiana are different and in Belinda's case, her creativity and design excellences showcase her differences.
Now Living in Houston, Texas, Belinda emerged from humble beginnings, designing custom items for special events of friends and family, and has risen in the industry as a national licensed designer. Belinda forged her unique skills and style in response to the rapid popularity of her work.
From Frames to shadowboxed crosses, wedding items, wall decor and other decor or celebration products, every Belinda Miley design sparkles with an inspirational touch.With each piece, she encourages you to "Let Your Spirit Sparkle."
Dawn previously worked for her mother at a day care center, and also worked in retail sales. Her mother, Pam Miley, owns the Little Red Schoolhouse on Lee Road and has operated that business for going on 48 years.
"My dad also had Miley's Glass Shop way back when," Dawn added.
She knows the history of the building and the family that owned it. The Alexius family bought it in 1915 when it was a gymnasium that held boxing matches in the area that is now a gift shop. The Alexius brothers converted it into a large hardware store and lumber supply enterprise. Its most recent past use was as a micro-brewery, the Covington Brewhouse.
According to their Facebook page, the gift shop is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. each weekday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The coffee shop inside a gift shop should be a conversation starter.
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/greeneyedgoddessgifts