My love of a shopping mall goes way back and was passed down from my mother, grandmother, and great aunt. Growing up in a small town, heading to Atlanta to the popular Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza was a huge treat and called for dressing up. My mother had some serious shopping stamina and it was often hard for me to keep up.
Many memorable times in my life involved the mall. Just hours before giving birth to my first child, my mother, husband, and I ate dinner at the mall and shopped until it closed. When my first child was a cranky toddler and we needed to get out of the house, we headed to the mall, threw coins in the fountain, and treated ourselves at the cookie store.
For many years we sat in line for hours waiting our turn for our children and their cousins to share their wish list with Santa, with the grandparents along for the fun. The popover and jello ring with chicken salad will always be a favorite at the Cafe at Neiman Marcus.
My great aunt Frances was quite the fashionista who had store clerks at each store who enthusiastically greeted her, knowing her style and favorite designers. When my grandmother got too old to walk through the mall, my mother and I pushed her in a wheelchair in search of the perfect dress for a family wedding with the help of a devoted salesperson.
So many special memories were made in malls, but perhaps my favorite memory was driving by Phipps Plaza with my small son in his carseat, pointing at the mall saying "Dottie", his name for his grandmother. I'm not sure if he thought Dottie lived at Phipps or he just knew we often met her there.
Fast forward about 25 years and Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza are more known for their growing crime than a special place to make memories. Security measures in place seem to dampen the joy, and designated shopping hours for local residents are being promoted to lure shoppers back to the mall.
As online shopping is becoming more popular, I'd love to create a touch of the mall shopping experience I so fondly remember through the Nifty experience. I look forward to greeting you, knowing your style, and sharing special moments.