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Castaways Closing in Downtown Gulfport

Castaways is closing it's doors in downtown Gulfport on Wednesday, May 29.

Owner Missy Donald has marked down everything in her shop at 2902 Beach Blvd. S.

Wednesday, May 29 is her last day at Castaways Recycle Style. Donald says she's looking for a new location and will keep customers posted on her Facebook page.

Donald opened Castaways nine months ago and immediately began luring customers in with her nautical and beach themed handcrafted signs, furniture and home decor.

She hopes to make appearances at local festivals and possible Gulfport Art Walks as she looks for a new spot to sell her one-of-a-kind recycled items.

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CJ May 29, 2013 at 12:49 AM
I was just in there today and purchased 2 modest items. The girl running the shop seemed a bit melancholy. I saw the sign as I walked in, ''last 2 days''. At first thought it was simply the end of the Memorial Day holiday sale. After speaking briefly with her I discovered that she felt she just did not make enough money there to withstand the overhead of the rent. I have been in the same situation before years ago, and knew how heavy her heart was about it. That said, the 2 items I purchased will be cool new little Gulfport treasures to add to our building collection of Florida items. Shops like this are what make it fun to shop. Any loss of a fellow business in the area is tough on the entire community as they feel her pain. There are landlords in the area need to take it easy on the merchants who rent shop spaces and help make Gulfport the attraction it is. This is far from the first place that has closed...or has already been closed for a long time...due to high rent. Other shops are struggling also, and very probably considering doing the same thing. It's admirable to see how obvious it is that numerous establishments in the area are eeking by and sticking with the area out of sheer love for Gulfport. That is appreciated by myself and others, but it is also easy to understand how shop owners have limits they can tolerate for only so long.
mtober May 29, 2013 at 02:13 AM
Good points CJ. I don't think she got much support from the Chamber or the Merchants either. I don't remember the Chamber prez going all gaga for this business like she did today for Mangia. Maybe she should have done a fundraiser as Mangia is doing. Just a thought.
CJ May 29, 2013 at 03:21 AM
True. Your view point on this comes from one far more informed than mine, Your comments are always so interesting. I am viewing this as a consumer and local family who considers all of the entertainment areas such as Gulfport as vital to what makes our county such a wonderful place to live. I just get worried when I see a place that is going to close down, when there are already so many vacant businesses in that area. Plus, I have empathy for some or these shop owners when their dreams fall apart. I hope wherever she moves on to from Gulfport, it pans out for her. It is much more fun to see people succeed than fail. Once you enjoy going to an area, it is a shame if vacancy issues like this trigger a bunch of new ones. It can happen, and it is not good once it reaches that point. I often wonder how many of them manage to keep their doors open, but maybe business is better than I realize. I also realize that sometimes these places close because they simply are not selling a product that is popular enough, or there are private money matters within the business owners family or whatever....and that is not ''just because'' the rent got raised. I have heard what some people are paying for rent now days, and I can certainly see why so many are complaining.
BKL May 29, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Absolutely, it is the owners of the buildings and homes, many gobbled up as investments that make the money. Suddenly a town is perceived as up and coming and the rent is increased. Thus squashing what was trying to happen. When homes sell for $45,000 but rent for $650 a month plus... who do you think is not aiding to the community? No homeowner investment or reason to invest themselves in the community. Owners make the money, they spend it elsewhere, live elsewhere, renter try as they can, but they don't own... have to spend $1000 (?) for commercial space, and as we see this business has a very small space. I LOVE Gulfport, just bought a little house here, fixing it up right now...There are 5 rentals that I know of right next to me and across from me. And that is just what I know of. New people across the street move in and out over and over. Wow, if it was set up so families who need a home could have help buying these places... well just think how it would be a boon to the town. I sure am hoping I can have my business downtown... right now I am at Value Fair Market because of I have a cheap year incitement and they have cool store owners, artist and woodworkers, but I so want to be in Gulfport...! PS Hi Mary, Hi Jean and Kumi!! I will be by to see you soon now that you are in Gulfport!!!!! Miss you guys!
Phyllis Plotnick May 29, 2013 at 03:22 PM
I have so enjoyed Castaways being part of our city center. What a good fit is has been. I have purchased wonderful items from Missy and hope to see more of her unique, thoughful work at Art Walks and at a new location that makes better sense/cents for her. I just wish that were in Gulfport.
Jan May 29, 2013 at 08:40 PM
So sorry to hear that Castaways last day is today. Wish I was in Gulfport now so that I could support her last day, rather than being in Illinois. Good luck, Missy. We will look for your items to be at the Art Walk events. You and your shop will definitely be missed!

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