That love eventually led Eveland to open up Gabriel’s Christmas, the Tri-Cities’ only year-round Christmas store in downtown Jonesborough, where Eveland hopes to pass his passion for decorating — and for Christmas in particular — along to his customers.
Favorite movie: “Home Alone”
Favorite holiday drink: Wassail
Favorite tree decoration: Tree topper
Cats or dogs: Dogs
Favorite time of the year: Christmas
What’s your favorite part of Christmastime?
It’s the magic of it — the look on people’s faces. It’s fun to be in the store to see people come in and the look on their face when they realize it’s all Christmas, and the look on their face when they leave because they’re in such a great mood. So I would say it’s the magic — the feeling of Christmas.
What led you to open up a Christmas shop?
Aside from loving Christmas, I had the opportunity several years ago to join a holiday decorating team that hotels, restaurants and country clubs, so that’s actually how this originally got started. We do that today still today, in-home decorating, and we do commercial decorating for local business as well. We decided to branch off of that with the retail arm of the business, and we’ve been really happy about that.
What’s the last month been like for your business?
Truthfully, it’s been a little bit crazy, but we expect that this time of the year and we spend the entire year planning for it. It’s been a very good crazy, we’ve had a great season, but it’s all about how we prepare to get us through, basically, six big weeks of the year.
How important is it for your business to capitalize on this stretch?
It’s really super critical for any retailer, but I think especially for us for obvious reasons, but truthfully you would be surprised how many people shop for Christmas year-round. Jonesborough is such a tourist area, so we get a lot of tourists coming in who want local ornaments or something that’s locally made that they can take back home. So while the fourth quarter of the year is super critical for us, there is actually Christmas demand year round.
Is tourism the big reason you decided to set up shop in Jonesborough?
We had looked at a couple different areas, and for us it needed to be the right building and the right community and it just so happens that Jonesborough is where we found that. It’s funny, when you’re in Jonesborough and you come into our store you kind of feel like you’re in a Hallmark Christmas movie.