Ready to help with your holiday shopping at Oasis Christian Books and Gifts are, from left, Sue, clerk; Bettie Clark, owner; and Teresa, clerk. Also on hand will be another clerk, Tina (not pictured).
Photo by Teresa McQuerrey.
Did you do Black Friday? How about Cyber Monday? Small Business Saturday was in there too. Make a stop at any local shops?
If the Rim Country’s small businesses weren’t on your list for holiday shopping this past weekend, there are 24 days left to get out and support your neighbors.
One of those neighborhood shops is Oasis Christian Books & Gifts in Twin Pines Center. A special “Merry Chick’s Day” event is planned from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30. The event is organized by a group of women from Mountain Bible Church.
“A small group of ladies from my church have discovered that the store is holding on by bare threads. Interestingly enough, Oasis is the only Christian bookstore in the Rim Country,” said Shirley Grady.
She added the women are looking for ways to help promote this only Christian bookstore.
“We feel it’s important that people know that Christian bookstores are disappearing, especially in small communities,” Grady said.
The group designed the “Chick’s” event, “to bring awareness to the community to support businesses that encourage the Christian values this country was built on.”
The event will have Christmas doorbusters and 10 percent off anything bought during the day. There will also be refreshments.
Bettie Clark bought the store in 2005 after working there 15 years. While it has struggled, like most small businesses in the Rim Country, it has hung on to serve residents and visitors.
Founded in 1983 by Erin Gibson, the store has been owned by quite a few different folks over the years and called about just as many different sites home.
Clark thinks the thing that makes Oasis Christian Books and Gifts unique are the many gently used products it offers customers along with its “exchange credit” policy — bring in used Christian books, music, DVDs, etc. and get a credit to use to purchase anything in store, new or used. She is proud of her special order policy too. There is a fast turnaround time and no shipping charge.
Clark said the most consistently popular item she sells are Bibles. The most popular contemporary work is Sarah Young’s “Jesus Calling”.
The store has cards, calendars, jewelry, T-shirts, baby gifts and gifts for all occasions, music and DVDs and also rents DVDs for $1 a day.
“The owner is doing some incredible ministries at the bookstore,” Grady said.
Clark said she considers the store a ministry, as do her employees.
“We pray for everyone who walks in the door for God to bless them all. We have a prayer box that we pray over every day,” Clark said. Customers who know about this special aspect of the shop will ask for prayers.
Clark said she never planned to run a business. She raised six children and made some investments over the years. Working at the shop, she knew the previous owner was struggling and offered to buy it. That was seven years ago. So, between working at the store for 15 years and owning it for seven, Oasis Christian Books and Gifts has been Clark’s home away from home for 22 years. Assisting her are her crew of Teresa, Sue and Tina.
“I hope people in the Rim Country will support our small businesses. They are all struggling,” Clark said.
The shop, at 512 S. Beeline Highway, Suite 1, is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday. The Merry Chick’s Day is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Friday, Nov. 30.