How One Jonesborough Business Expanded During the Pandemic

When Gabe Eveland opened a retail business in downtown Jonesborough, he envisioned incorporating his love for design and décor into a service that is now part of Northeast Tennessee’s most popular year-round Christmas store. After opening Gabriel’s Christmas in September 2018, the festive shop quickly expanded to offer interior design, décor, and specialty lighting services to customers.

“It all started back in 2013 when I was helping a florist with holiday decor for a few local businesses, Gabe said. “From there, we started offering holiday decor services, which expanded to private residences, and most recently general interior decorating services outside of the holiday season.”

Gabe’s favorite part of owning a retail business is working one-on-one with customers, especially when a new client browses the store for products to incorporate into a design.

“Some customers just have a ball.  It’s like seeing a kid in a candy shop,” he said. “They get so excited about the decorations!

Décor for Any Season

Christmas is their specialty, but Gabe and his team are in full swing assisting clients for any holiday or special occasion.

“Aside from Christmas, my next favorite holiday would be Halloween,” Gabe said. “And I love to decorate for Halloween!”

In fact, entering Gabriel’s Christmas along the timeless sidewalks in Historic Jonesborough is a treat any time of the year. You’ll find gifts and décor perfect for any holiday, or just to brighten your day.

Custom Design and Lighting

From small to large projects, creating a custom look takes time. New clients are advised to begin planning with Gabe as early as six to nine months in advance, in order to secure items that are not readily available in stores.  In addition to holiday décor, Gabriel’s Christmas provides custom lighting for weddings, special events, and even year-round use such as patio and outdoor lighting.

Gabe says his great aunt had a philosophy that he still sticks with, “You can never have enough Christmas lights!”

Expanding to Pets

Two years after Gabriel’s Christmas opened, Gabe made the decision to open Tennessee Tails, a local independent boutique just for pets.

“Jonesborough is such a dog friendly area, and people are always walking their dogs downtown. I also have two fur babies of my own, and am a believer in healthy, holistic pet foods, which helped form the mission of the store,” Gabe said.

Tennessee Tails recently hosted a Doggie Hop Easter Egg Scavenger Hunt as a way to encourage folks to shop local, all while supporting the neighborhood animal shelter. After the COVID pandemic altered the pet boutique’s grand opening plans in 2020, Gabe and his team have hopes of a one-year anniversary celebration in May 2021.

Rolling with the Flow

Maintaining a successful operation of one business, and opening a new one during 2020 would be quite the task for anyone.

“I can remember the day we made the decision to temporarily close the stores for safety reasons,” Gabe said. “It was a surreal moment. To this day, it’s still hard to wrap my head around everything that has happened over the last year.”

While closed, Gabe and his team took the opportunity to completely redesign retail spaces to allow more room for customers. They also transitioned to offer an online store, and adapted with private shopping appointments, curbside pickup and delivery. He also hired a staff member dedicated to social media to create brand awareness and engagement.

Only in Jonesborough

Gabe considers himself fortunate to own two businesses in Tennessee’s Oldest Town. He compares being in Jonesborough to that of a Hallmark movie.

“We are quite possibly one of the friendliest towns in the South!”

Additional Info      

For additional information on how to plan your trip, visit. Jonesborough.com