We went to Omaha, Nebraska to visit the vibrant and sun filled store Dusk Goods and Gifts. In a spacious loft space, Abby curates gorgeous products from women owned businesses, supporting U.S. local, BIPOC and queer makers (us included!). Keep reading to dive deeper into Abby's journey as a store owner and learn more about Omaha!
CB: Abby, I am so happy I got to go to Nebraska and meet you in person! Your store is such an inspiring space and I could feel the energy of each maker you carry in your selection. Can you share with us a little bit about your life and how it brought you to create this magical store?
A: Hi Dominique, I've been working in retail for 26 years! One of my first jobs was at a record store in my hometown. In college, I worked at an amazing woman owned gift shop called Eyes of The World. I didn’t realize the true impact that both of these jobs had on me until recently. in both shops, I had creative freedom with merchandising and displays. It was so great to have bosses that trusted me with their shop babies. They were a big inspiration to me.
I’ve always been a creative person. I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting and drawing. I grew up going to auctions, antique stores, and thrifting with my mom and sister. Which taught me to appreciate a good treasure! My mom also owns a gift shop in my hometown.
The short version of what brought me to Dusk…..
After art school and years of bartending, I started working a desk job at a scrap metal brokerage where I worked for 8 years. Got married, had my first son and decided to stay home with him during the early years. In 2010 I started the clothing line Wee Vintage Baby as a way to make extra income. The next few years running Wee Vintage, I had the opportunity to meet and connect with so many women-owned makers and brands. In 2016 I launched a small “collective” of my favorite women-owned brands with the intention of slowly building the collective to a brick and mortar. I did about 2 to 3+ pop ups a month for an entire year prior to the shop opening in 2019 with the hopes to build extra income for a brick and mortar.
CB: Thanks for sharing that! As you previously mentioned, you look carefully into each maker that you invite into your space. What is important to you when choosing products for your store? How do you find the right makers for your space?
A: I spend a lot of time searching instagram. I love to find vendors by visiting markets and pop-ups when I travel. There are some really good indie markets for retailers too. I guess the main importance when choosing brands would be passion. You can tell when a brand is fully invested personally in their dream. I want to know that we are equally passionate and inspired to grow. It’s a team effort.
CB: We talked a bit about small women businesses. Do you have any insights to share on how to strengthen a small business woman community? How do you believe we can support each other in meaningful ways?
A: I believe collaborating with other women owned businesses is a great way to strengthen community. Also, providing space if you have it for pop ups etc. and simply checking in on one another when you can. Also, like, comment share one another on social media!
CB: This is my first time in Nebraska! Can you share with us some recommendations for friends visiting Omaha? What are some of your favorite spots around here?
A: We have some amazing food in the area @mexitlifoodtruck, @lasierradgo, Tixteco, Los Portales and @nicerollz inside Archetype Coffee.
Here is a link to a map to find your way around. @thingsville has a treasure for everyone. @thegreenhouseomaha for all your plant needs. South 13th Street is sprinkled with lots of locally owned shops.
CB: Is there anything you would like to share with us on how we can support small businesses and weave our communities together?
A: An easy and free way to help support any small business is to like, comment, and share their social media posts!
CB: Thank you so much for sharing your story and inspiring us! I am leaving your space with a warm heart, so inspired to see so many small businesses represented in the same space!
You can find Dusk Goods and Gifts at (1234 South 13th Street Suite 202. Hours of operation Tuesday 12 to 5pm, Wednesday through Saturday 10am to 5pm. Sunday 10am to 4pm. If you are not local to Omaha, you can shop online here.