She and her husband, Flavis, were owners of Casson Art Interiors when he began “talking retirement.” Nancy said she knew she wasn’t ready to retire, so her dream of having a shop evolved into a plan and became reality. Her husband agreed to help her with a gift shop that wasn’t “just Christmas” — but would include other holidays and carry other gift items.
The Red Ribbon Gift Shop with the Cassons as owners opened on Nov. 1, 2005, in a small white house on Central Avenue in downtown Cleveland. It was named The Red Ribbon, the name and logo suggested by Christy Griffith and Melissa Woody.
Since Nancy was still at Casson Art interiors, Denise Wilson was hired to manage the shop. Nancy said Wilson, who has been with The Red Ribbon Gift Shop since it opened in 2005, is a valued employee.
At The Red Ribbon, customers can find gifts and items for all occasions and holidays. But the gift shop offers something no other place would have. Nancy loves to cross-stitch and, because of her love of cross-stitching, has added a beautiful, unique selection of cross-stitched all-occasion cards to the inventory.
These are not prints, but true cross-stitch. Most of the cards are 5-by-7 inches and are suitable for framing. Also, they are blank on the inside for your own message to be written. Cards for birthdays, thinking-of-you sentiments, retirement, girlfriend or boyfriend, engagement, wedding, thank-yous and others are available. A custom card can even be made with a few days’ notice. Special occasions can be celebrated with these unique, personal cards.
Nancy has matted and framed prints of her cross-stitched Santas available at the shop, also. And closer to Christmas, she will have for sale a selection of cross-stitch Christmas cards, which she has been giving to her friends since 1993.
Treasured Scene ornaments are also sold exclusively at The Red Ribbon Gift Shop, including historic themes such as the old Bradley Courthouse, old Bradley County High School, Broad Street United Methodist Church, Lee University, the old First Baptist Church and the Fillauer Building.
The many gift items at The Red Ribbon Gift Shop include Willow Tree figurines and cards, Tervis Tumblers, Byers Choice Carolers, Lolita glassware, Arthur Court serve wear, Jim Shore figurines, golf gift items, Charlie Paige items, jewelry, scarves, handbags, wine accessories, framed artwork, children’s gifts, wedding gifts and bridal registry, Christopher Radko ornaments, Mexican Vanilla and much more.
The gift shop has a year-round holiday area featuring Christmas, Halloween, Easter and Thanksgiving. “You don’t have to wait until the holiday shopping season begins to find items for that season,” Nancy said.
The Red Ribbon Gift Shop offers layaway, also, and free gift wrapping and delivery in the Cleveland area. Too, SEC sports items are available at the shop for gift giving. And, she said, they do gift baskets for special occasions.
The Red Ribbon Gift Shop is located at 270 Central Ave. N.W., between the old YMCA and Joe Rodgers Office Supplies. It is next to a city parking lot, so there is always plenty of free parking. Steps are at the front of the shop, and for the customer’s convenience, a ramp leads into the back door. The Cassons invite people from the area to “visit us for your gift needs.” They urge shoppers to “stay local when gift buying or any other purchasing and keep tax dollars in Cleveland/Bradley County.”
The shop is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, call 473-1114. Visit www.theredribbon.org (in the process of being updated) or “Like” the shop on Facebook.