Find gifts, bags and cards in one spot at Smyrna Cards & Gifts

11/24/18

By Ben Mace, ben.mace@doverpost.com

11/24/18

Find gifts, bags and cards in one spot at Smyrna Cards & Gifts

“We like to say, ‘We’re your one-stop shop,’” said Woody Gill, who co-owns Smyrna Cards & Gifts with his wife, Karen. “You can get your gift, your bag, your card and you’re on your way.”

 

They opened the store in 2014 at 16 S. Main St., next door to Royal Treatments which Karen started a year earlier. While Royal Treatments specializes in home décor and furnishings, their newer store offers a variety of gift ideas for men, women and children.

 

“Our hottest sellers right now are Habersham candles,” said Woody. “Once you understand what it is, you’ll buy it again and again.”

 

The scented, decorative candles are called “wax pottery” and you don’t light them. You put them on display on a table, shelf or in a bathroom and they give off a fragrance for six months to a year. The candles have a variety of themes, like one embedded with sea shells or another that looks like small, succulent plants.

 

“When they start to dry out and the scent dissipates, you heat them up a little with a hair dryer and the scent comes right back,” said Woody.

 

Karen said people who buy one as a gift hear the person rave about it and then buy one for themselves.

 

The store has items that are personalized for “mom,” “dad,” “brother” and “sister” and sells toys, puzzles and stuffed animals for kids, along with holiday dishes, ornaments and decorations.

 

Smyrna Cards & Gifts also features Smyrna 250th anniversary memorabilia including ornaments, books, hats, shirts, flags, collectible coins and glasses. Proceeds from anniversary items go to the Smyrna 250th Anniversary Committee which organized funding for town celebrations throughout the year.

 

The Gills said joining in events like Smyrna’s anniversary is one reason locally-owned businesses are special.

 

They also like turning Small Business Saturday into a celebration.

 

“We have refreshments and give away the Small Business Saturday bags, pens and ‘swag’ provided by American Express,” said Karen. “It’s more of a party. We’ve had a really great turnout each year. People are excited about it.”

 

Woody said the store is usually busier on Small Business Saturday than on Black Friday.

 

“Small Business Saturday gives people a chance to get away from the big box stores and find unique items they can’t find at the big stores,” he said.

 

Store hours on Small Business Saturday are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m

Royal Treatments Draperies and Decor

11/23/2016

At Royal Treatments Draperies and Décor, co-owner Karen Gill displays tables full of holiday items, in addition to the store’s inventory of home decorations and furnishings.

 

We always hear people say, “This is a really unique store. I love this place”, said Karen Gill co-owner of Royal Treatments at 14 South Main Street, Smyrna. “We try to be that gem that people enjoy finding.”

Gill started the draperies and décor business in 2000 in her home. Then in 2013 she opened up the store in Smyrna with her husband, Woody Gill, as part of “Project Pop Up” sponsored by the Delaware Economic Development office. With the support of DEDO, the Downtown Smyrna Renaissance Association, the Town of Smyrna and loyal customers, the business has thrived.

“We have some fun, unique, different things you just don’t find anywhere else”, Gill said.

“People like to come in to see what we’ll have next. We try to keep our inventory fresh, yet customers will know they’ll be able to find something affordable.”

Royal Treatments will be open extended hours on Small Business Saturday, from 9 am to 6 pm.

“We have a lot of holiday decorations and a variety of small holiday gift items”, Gill said. “We’d also like for customers to share their shopping experiences on social media that day as a part of “Shop Small.””

She said the support she’s received from customers and town leaders has been very encouraging.

“Our patrons, just about every day, will say, “Are you doing OK? We want to make sure you stay. Were glad you are here.” They want to have a shop like this in our downtown,” she said.

Smyrna Cards and Gifts

11/23/2016

Smyrna Cards and Gifts offers “friendly, welcoming, personal service.”

The owners of Smyrna Cards and Gifts at 16 South Main Street in Smyrna are looking forward to Small Business Saturday with extended hours from 9 am to 6 pm.

Woody and Karen Gill offer a wide variety of seasonal cards and gifts, but strive to find item that are different then chain stores sell.

“We have unique products that customers want to see. It’s not the same old stuff”, said Woody Gill, who added that customers return because of the “friendly, welcoming personal service” in addition to the hard-to-find products.

Now is their third year in business, the Gills are setting up their displays of Christmas and holiday merchandise and cards in preparation for Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.

Woody Gill said the support they’ve have received from customers and the town has been “excellent, probably more they I expected.”

“When you look at government, the mayor and town council, to be able to have input with what’s going on in the community like we’ve had, I think that is great,” he said. “Our voice is being heard.”

Government agencies offer incentives and support to encourage new businesses

11/23/2016

By Jim Lee, jim.lee@doverpost.com

 

Small businesses will be highlighted at events across the state and nation this Saturday, but sustaining a vibrant downtown is a never-ending effort that requires a continued commitment.

“We do a lot of events on a monthly basis,” Nick Manerchia, executive director for Middletown Main Street Inc.

In January and February, the Main Street program offers the drop and shop service, where parents can drop off their kids and spend some time shopping. In the summer there are musical events, and they also have fall and spring fashion events.

“Things like that really get people coming down, and they stay around to shop and become more aware about what the town has,” he said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, businesses with 20 or fewer employees made up 89.6 percent of all businesses in 2012. In addition, the Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy said, between 1993 and mid-2013, small businesses accounted for 14.3 million net new jobs, or 63 percent of net new jobs for that period.

That same office noted that, in Delaware, 74,913 small businesses employ 174,196 people, or 45.6 percent of the workforce.

One resource that has helped small businesses is the Delaware Economic Development Office’s Downtown Delaware program.

Diane Laird, state coordinator for Downtown Delaware, said the agency offers services such as the Rural Business Mentoring Program. The program connects business owners with mentors who can assist them with topics ranging from customer service and social media to cost saving measures and business plan strategies.

Downtown Delaware started out focused on Main Street towns. Since 1996, the seven Main Street towns in the program have seen a net gain of 362 business and 1,688 jobs. And from the success of the Main Street program, Downtown Delaware created a Commercial District Affiliate designation.

“We used to be focused on just designated towns,” Laird said. “We expanded to include affiliates, so there is really something for communities at all levels of the game.”

Steve Twilley, executive director for Downtown Milford Inc., said they created an entrepreneurs’ network and a merchants group which come together to talk about challenges and successes. As part of Downtown Delaware, they can network with other business communities and share ideas and successes, like Milford’s Third Thursday initiative begun earlier this year. That involves merchants staying open later the third Thursday of each month.

“Research shows the vast majority of retail purchases are made after 6 p.m.,” Twilley said.

Next year, plans are to establish a monthly theme for each Thursday.

“Downtown has to be a destination, it has to be something special,” he said. “There’s something for people to see and places for people to shop where they will find things they won’t find elsewhere.”

 

Project Pop Up

 

Smyrna and Middletown are among the towns that have benefited from Downtown Delaware’s Project Pop Up. The program pairs the owners of vacant properties with potential entrepreneurs. A fledgling business receives three months rent-free, but the ultimate objective is for its owner to sign a long-term lease.

Royal Treatments draperies and décor opened in downtown Smyrna because of Project Pop Up, according to co-owner Karen Gill. She had started the home business before she and her husband moved to Delaware.

“When I restarted my business here, we didn’t know anyone, and it was taking a little bit longer than expected to reach customers,” Gill said. “When I read in the paper that Project Pop Up was taking applications and what the program was all about, I thought, ‘Maybe this is really my opportunity,’ so I applied and was accepted.”

After finding the storefront space in Smyrna, Gill said she had 30 days to set up the entire business.

“It was quite an adventure but amazing. It was very well received right away. People came in to see what we offered, and my business has grown astronomically since then,” she said.

Along with the three free months of rent, Project Pop Up also offers mentoring, coaching and help with social media and marketing.

“Those kind of things are a huge benefit,” said Gill.

She specializes in custom draperies, but she filled her store with a variety of interior decorations, accent pieces and gifts. Sales of those items were going so well, she asked her husband, Woody, to help her with customers at the store so she could have more time to make the draperies.

Then, they had the idea if they could also sell cards and gift bags, they could offer one-stop shopping. Instead of adding those items at Royal Treatments, they opened Smyrna Cards & Gifts in the vacant store next door.

So the Project Pop Up program that started with Royal Treatments in 2013, led to a second store opening in downtown Smyrna a year later.

In Middletown, Manerchia said Amber Shader, owner of First & Little baby boutique, started her business because of Project Pop Up.

“Her store is thriving. She has brought such a cohesiveness to all the boutiques,” he said.

Along with Smyrna and Middletown, several other communities have participated in Project Pop Up, and Laird said 18 businesses in the program have signed long-term leases.

Gov. Jack Markell also praised the program.

“The success of this program underscores the fact that there are entrepreneurs who want a shot at starting and growing businesses, and downtown communities have a home for them,” he said.

 

Commercial District Affiliates

 

While Smyrna doesn’t have a Main Street Inc. program, it is a Commercial District Affiliate. Affiliates, according to Downtown Delaware’s website, are “communities that choose to implement downtown revitalization strategies similar to designated Main Street programs, but on a smaller scale. Some of these towns are ‘testing the waters’ as they consider future Main Street designation. DEDO works with these communities to build strategies that will encourage partnership-development, new funding opportunities, and increased opportunities for small businesses.”

Among the benefits, affiliates can participate in Downtown Delaware’s group training activities led by state and national downtown development experts. And they can tap into that statewide network where Main Street participants share information, learn about best practices in revitalization and trade best practices with peers from around the state.

 

How to get involved

 

The next opportunity for towns and communities to learn about Downtown Delaware will be the Delaware League of Local Governments talk on Dec. 1. Laird said staff members from cities and towns typically attend. Anyone interested in attending can email her at Diane.Laird@state.de.us or call Carl Luft at 668-0991.

 

We are in the news again

3:47 p.m. EST February 13, 2016

Delawarenewsonline.com

 

Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day.

And so is the sound of cash registers.

Business owners say a fluke of the calendar has helped to boost sales of cards, gifts and flowers this year, while extending the holiday bonanza for hotels and restaurants.

“Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday this year so that means people are celebrating all weekend,” said Scott Kammerer, president of the coastal hospitality group SoDel Concepts. “And then Presidents Day is on Monday, so people who have the day off are a little more willing to go out and have fun.”

Kammerer’s company operates eight restaurants in Sussex County, including Fish On in Lewes, Lupo Italian Kitchen in Rehoboth Beach and Catch 54 in Fenwick Island.

But last-minute romantics might have a hard time making a dinner reservation at any of them on Sunday.

“If it's women making the reservation, they usually call well in advance and the prime hours are already taken,” he said. “Men tend to call at the last minute, and if there are any tables left, it’s going to be earlier or later in the evening.”

A Sunday Valentine’s Day means those dawdling Romeos have a few more options.

“If we’re sold out on the holiday, they were able make dinner plans on Saturday night instead,” said Stephen Cobb, the food and beverage director at Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth Beach.

Victoria’s Restaurant in the hotel also is offering a Valentine’s Day brunch.

“We’ll get 30 to 40 calls for Valentine’s Day reservations today alone,” Cobb said Saturday. “Being able to offer them the night before or morning of instead is something you can’t offer when the holiday falls during the week.”

The longer love fest also allows hotels to create overnight packages that fill rooms along with restaurant seats, said Brad Wenger, general manager of the Hilton Christiana.

“For that reason, our room bookings have been very strong this year,” he said. “If you get creative with those ideas, you can really reap a great benefit this year.”

The extra days also have been a boon for florists, who normally have to spend the holiday racing to meet tight delivery windows.

“Everybody wants their bouquets to show up at the office,” said Elena Jackson, owner of Elana’s Broad Street Florist in Middletown. “We did a lot of that on Friday, but having Valentine’s Day on Sunday means those deliveries get spread over the weekend instead of all being on the same day.”

Jackson said she won’t know until next week how this year’s sales compared to last year.

“But I can tell you I had to order more roses to be sure we have enough for those last-minute shoppers,” she said. “We’ll be getting calls up until 5 p.m. on Valentine’s Day.”

 

News photo is here

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts owners Woody and Karen Gill pose for a photo with some Valentine's Day themed gifts and cards on Saturday morning. 

(Photo: DOUG CURRAN/SPECIAL TO THE NEWS)

 

Woody and Karen Gill, who opened Smyrna Cards and Gifts on Smyrna’s South Main Street in late 2014, said their business was booming in the lead up to the shop's second Valentine’s Day.

 

“Our card sales are up 40 percent over last year,” Woody said Saturday. “Today, it’s mostly been men coming in, all after Valentine's Day cards or gifts.”

Gill attributed the jump in sales, at least in part, to the weekend holiday.

“It means people have more time to shop,” he said. “If Valentine's Day is on a Tuesday, the guys might pick something up last minute while they’re at work, but now they have an opportunity to make a trip before it happens and really think a gift through.”

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts will be closed Sunday, but the shop owner said he'll still head into work to get the store ready for the next major holiday.

“I’ve got to get those Easter cards out,” he said.

 

Restaurant workers, hotel staff and business owners also will be postponing their Valentine’s Day celebrations until their cupid duties are complete.

“You’re too busy helping people with their proposals, anniversaries and first dates to celebrate yourself,” Cobb said. “You come home tired, but it's a good feeling to know you helped other people have a day to remember.”

Restaurant workers, hotel staff and business owners also will be postponing their Valentine’s Day celebrations until their cupid duties are complete.

“You’re too busy helping people with their proposals, anniversaries and first dates to celebrate yourself,” Cobb said. “You come home tired, but it's a good feeling to know you helped other people have a day to remember.”

Restaurant workers, hotel staff and business owners also will be postponing their Valentine’s Day celebrations until their cupid duties are complete.

“You’re too busy helping people with their proposals, anniversaries and first dates to celebrate yourself,” Cobb said. “You come home tired, but it's a good feeling to know you helped other people have a day to remember.”

Contact business reporter Scott Goss at (302) 324-2281, sgoss@delawareonline.com or on Twitter @ScottGossDel.

Smyrna Cards and Gifts celebrates one year in downtown location

Nov 16, 2015

The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC) joined Smyrna Cards and Gifts on Wednesday, November 4th in a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate their membership with the CDCC and their one year anniversary.

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts opened its doors in Historic downtown Smyrna in November 2014. Owner Woody Gill along with his wife, Karen, recognized a need for providing a diverse choice of greeting cards that are different from those offered at area chain stores. They also wanted to offer quality gift items that are unique and affordable.

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts is actually an expansion of Royal Treatments, a home decorating store which opened a year earlier. “Royal Treatments grew much quicker than expected” says owner, Karen Gill. Just nine months after opening, she asked her husband, Woody to join the business fulltime.

 

The Gills saw that many of their customers purchased items as gifts. They wanted to provide “one-stop shopping” by adding cards and gift bags, but they did not have room for a significant increase in merchandise. When the retail space next door became available in October 2014, Woody knew they needed to act quickly, as the holiday season was upon them. Smyrna Cards and Gifts opened the beginning of November and was immediately well received.

 

The store has an entire room devoted entirely to greeting cards. The Gills knew from their own experience that people get tired of the “same old cards” offered by the chain stores, so they provide a fresh alternative by carrying several different card lines that are not found elsewhere in the local area.

 

This same philosophy applies when it comes to the gifts they offer. They have fun and functional items that you won’t find anywhere else nearby.

You no longer have to worry about showing up at a gathering with the same gift that someone else brought.

 

“We offer over 1,000 different greeting card choices for all occasions, cards that you won’t find anywhere else in the area” says owner, Woody Gill. “Customers say to us ‘You have the best cards!’ Add to that our fun and unique gift items, and you can truly get all of your shopping done in one place.” Gill adds “Customers also frequently say ‘I love your store! Thank you for being here.’ That tells us we are on the right track to satisfy customers’ needs in this area.”

 

The Gills try to keep the merchandise fresh by continually adding new items. Very few items are replenished with the same thing, but instead are replaced with new offerings to keep customers coming back.

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts and Royal Treatments are connected by an interior doorway so customers are able to shop in both stores at the same time, allowing them to find out all that each store has to offer.

 

Visit them at 16 S. Main Street in Smyrna, DE 19977. You can call them at (302) 566-8553.

Senator Visit

6/8/2015

Smyrna Cards and Gifts and Royal Treatments had the honor of being visited by Delaware’s United States Senator Chris Coons today. Senator Coons was with Smyrna City Manager Dave Hugg touring downtown Smyrna. The Senator was interested in what businesses are located here, and to meet with Smyrna Cards and Gifts and Royal Treatments owners, Woody and Karen Gill.

The Senator and his assistants took a tour of both stores and were given an explanation of why we have set up shop here in Smyrna. He was glad to hear that things are going well with the two shops.

The Senator seemed impressed with the wide array of items we stock and wanted to know what the store hours are so that he can come back with family members to shop.

After seeing both stores we were afforded the opportunity to get some photos with the Senator.

Project Pop-Up entrepreneur expands Smyrna Business

January 25, 2015

  •  

    Karen Gill worked her window treatments business – Royal Treatments – out of her home until the opportunity to open a storefront rent-free for three months became available through the Delaware Economic Development Office’s Project Pop-Up.

    Gill opened Royal Treatments in October 2013 and on her first anniversary announced an expanded business – Smyrna Cards & Gifts – next door.

    From visits with state officials like Gov. Jack Markell to being ambassadors for downtown Smyrna, there’s a buzz surrounding business owners Karen and Woody Gill.

    “We’ve invested in Smyrna and Smyrna has invested in us,” Woody said.

     

  • How does it feel to have so much success after starting as a Project Pop-Up business?

     

  • Karen: I feel honored that we have had so much positive attention. I feel the program is valuable for business owners who are starting up in a brick and mortar location moving from a home base, or an entrepreneur who has a marketable service or product and is prepared to go full tilt starting a business. If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would repeat the process and participate in Project Pop-Up again.

     

  • How does it feel to be considered an ambassador for downtown?

     

Karen: We love what we do and while we would be happy to own our businesses wherever we would be, the fact we’re in a community that is so dedicated, welcoming and exuberant about wanting to revitalize and bring new businesses in; we are thrilled to share our experiences with others to encourage them to come here. I’ve offered Mayor Joanne Masten, if she’s trying to convince a boutique to come to Smyrna, I’ll go with her to talk about the experience because we’ve been so pleased with the response. The reception has been fabulous. We’re thrilled to be ambassadors, but we don’t want to be alone in this. We want to encourage others to come here. We believe in the potential because we have been so well received, and we know that the town is excited and dedicated about growing the downtown area.

 

  • How is the expanded business – Smyrna Cards & Gifts – doing?

     

Woody: It’s actually been beyond my expectations. I thought maybe we were just getting a holiday rush with the amount of people coming from Royal Treatments over here, but I’ve seen more people that I’ve never seen before so I’m impressed. We’re still doing better than expected so we’re pleased. People repeatedly come in to buy a card and once they’re in, they’re hooked.

 

Senator Carper Letter

1/3/2015

As a follow up to the visit from the Senator here is what showed up in the mail today. Notice a couple of things.
First no postmark and no stamp, just a signature. Second he crossed out the "standard" thank you and inserted our name. Lastly he wrote a personal message to us. What a great honor to be graced with this kind of surprise.

Happy New year indeed!

 

Thank you Senator Carper.

Senator Carper Vist

12/29/2014

Smyrna Cards and Gifts and Royal Treatments had the honor of being visited by Delaware’s United States Senator Tom Carper.

 

Senator Carper wanted to see what all of the buzz was about and meet with Smyrna Cards and Gifts owners, Woody and Karen Gill.

 

The Senator and his assistants took a tour of both stores and were given a brief explanation of why we have set up shop here in Smyrna. He was glad to see our investment in Smyrna with the two shops. The Senator seemed impressed and said “You have two very nice stores here”.

He also had other reasons for stopping in. The Senator was in need of an Anniversary card for his wife of 29 years. He was shown the many choices of cards to choose from, and after looking them over found one to fit the occasion perfectly.

 

After seeing both stores we were afforded the opportunity to get some photos with the Senator.

Delaware Governor Visits Royal Treatments

12/18/2014

Royal Treatments had the honor and privilege of being visited by Delaware’s Gov. Jack Markell today, along with Senator Bruce Ennis, Representative Bill Carson, and Alan Levin, the Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office.

 

Gov. Markell wanted to meet with Royal Treatments’ owner, Karen Gill to talk about our participation in Project Pop-Up, our success after one year in downtown Smyrna, and our recent expansion. He asked very pointed questions and wanted us to know that Delaware wants us to be successful.

Customers entering the store during his visit were surprised to see the Governor and he greeted each of them.

The Governor, as well as all other in attendance, was pleased to see our new space, Smyrna Cards and Gifts, which offers a great selection of greeting cards and unique gift items. The new store has been very well received. In fact, Woody Gill has had many customers say “Thank you. We’ve really needed this.”

 

Not long after Gov. Markell and the others left, a reporter from WDDE, Delaware’s NPR station, came to Royal Treatments for an interview which will air between Christmas and New Year’s.

 

In a couple of weeks Smyrna Cards and Gifts will be visited by U.S. Senator Tom Carper!

 

Great things are happening at Royal Treatments and Smyrna Cards and Gifts!

 

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts opens to great response

11/26/2014

Woody and Karen Gill are pictured here in their new shop, which connects to their first downtown business,

Royal Treatments.

 

It’s been less than a month since downtown Smyrna business owners Karen and Woody Gill opened their second

business, Smyrna Cards and Gifts, but the couple has already received a welcoming response from residents and

customers.

Karen said the business, which opened on South Main Street Nov. 4, did very well the first week and then tripled sales in the second week.

“It meets the needs of the town,” Woody said. “We’ve heard from many people. Actually the response has been

wonderful. People said it was needed in town. They’re glad it’s here and they don’t have to travel far.”

The business is an expansion of the Gills other South Main Street business, Royal Treatments. The duo realized while running Royal Treatments, which has only been open a year, that there was a need for a card and gift shop. Eventually they added cards and decided when the property next door became available to expand the business. Now Royal Treatments will strictly be window treatments and home décor while Smyrna Cards and Gifts will feature just that –cards, gifts and gift bags as well. Karen will have her workroom in Royal Treatments and there’s even a walkway joining the two.

Woody said having the two stores has been a help because when a customer comes in one business, the Gills take them over to the second business.

“It’s improved visibility on this side as well as that side. We’re taking all the traffic and exposing them to both [businesses],” Woody said.

For example, one night a woman came into Royal Treatments looking for a wine clutch; Karen said the insulated wine clutches are a popular item in town and one of their top sellers. She said she took the woman over from Royal Treatments to Smyrna Cards and Gifts for the item.

Another popular item is art magnets. Karen said the magnets are of state license plates cut into letters that can be used to spell words and names. Other items sold include Christmas decorations, stuffed animals, puzzles, and mugs with more to come.“Our goal is to carry local themed items and some local made items,” Karen said. “We want gifts for house warmings, hostess gifts and any little thing you may want to pick up and give someone. We’re heading in that direction. Our goal is to have a lot of unique items. You can always find something to give someone and get the card and gift bag to go with it.”

With their second business open, the Gills are especially appreciative of their landlords Ron and Ellen Sayers, who own both properties; the Sayers took a chance by offering the Royal Treatments location as a Delaware Economic Development Office Project PopUp location and have been extremely helpful in helping the Gills open Royal Treatments and Smyrna Cards and Gifts.

“The Sayers are so extremely supportive and welcoming to us in allowing us to not only take over the space next door but by letting us add a passageway to make it seamless,” Karen said. “They are tremendously heartwarming to us and believe so much in our business as well. I’m really grateful to them for their support.”

 

Smyrna Cards and Gifts

ADDRESS 16 S. Main St.

PHONE (302) 566-8553

FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/Smyrnacardsandgifts

WEBSITE smyrnacardsandgifts.com

11/14/2014

Here is a link to a Philly PBS segment that we are featured in.

We are in the opening story and the entire segment runs for 6 minutes. Of course we are only a small part of the story, but we do get some great exposure of the new store, including a direct solo shot of the logo. We are thankful for such an opportunity.

Royal Treatments in Smyrna celebrates anniversary, announces expansion

10/14/2014

Smyrna Clayton Sun Times

 

This time last year Smyrna business owner Karen Gill was in the process of opening up Royal Treatments in downtown Smyrna through the Delaware Economic Development Office’s Project Pop-Up program. One year later not only was she celebrating her one year anniversary, but announcing the expansion of her business.
“The one year mark…it’s very exciting,” Karen said. “It’s gone by so quickly. It hardly seems like it’s been a year.”
 

Work has been so busy for Royal Treatments that Karen’s husband, Woody, even came on this summer to help with the business. He isn’t surprised with the store’s success.
“What is unexpected is how successful it’s been to this point. It’s been quicker than we thought,” he said.
The store has been so successful that in recent months the two began discussing a possible expansion of their business.
The decision to expand was twofold – they wanted to bring Karen’s workroom to the store from home and they also found a need for a second business.
 

Currently Karen runs her drapery business out of her storefront property on 14 S. Main St., but has her work room at their home in the Middletown area. Woody said logistically it didn’t make sense for Karen to continue having to work in two separate places; however, it wasn’t possible to add a workroom to the Royal Treatments location.
“Basically the only way to make it work is if that space [next door] became available,” Woody said.
 

And eventually the property next door at 16 S. Main St. did become available at the end of September. The two quickly decided to use the property to expand Royal Treatments and bring in another business – Smyrna Cards and Gifts.
Karen and Woody currently sell gifts and cards out of Royal Treatments. People were constantly coming in saying the only places to buy cards in town were drug stores and grocery stores – all of which sold the same cards over and over again. Plus when local business Heart of Smyrna closed, it left a void for a place in town to buy gifts, Woody said.
“Smyrna Cards and Gifts will be a one stop shop for a card, gift and gift bag,” Woody said.
 

The plan is to knock a hole in the wall that separates the two storefronts and connect them. Some minor work such as painting and carpet replacement need to be done, but Woody is hoping to have a soft opening in November.
Karen said that while technically they are expanding Royal Treatments, they wanted to have two separate businesses. The gifts from Royal Treatments will be moved to Smyrna Cards and Gifts, which will feature small gifts such as candles, soaps, signs and more.
“If you want to buy something for your home, you buy it here [Royal Treatments]. If you want to buy something for someone else, you’ll buy it there [Smyrna Cards and Gifts],” said Karen.
 

While Smyrna Cards and Gifts may not have a lot at first, Woody said it’ll eventually evolve and grow just like Royal Treatments did.
“We’re just thankful that the residents of the Smyrna area have welcomed us and offered us this opportunity to provide another service back to them,” Woody said.

More about the businesses
Royal Treatments ADDRESS 14 S. Main St., Smyrna

WEBSITE royal-treatments.com 

SELLS window treatments and home décor

Smyrna Cards and Gifts ADDRESS 16 S. Main St.

WEBSITE smyrnacardsandgifts.com

WILL SELL gifts, cards and gift bags

By Jennifer Dailey, staff writer 
jennifer.dailey@doverpost.com
@SunTimesJenn

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