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* History: blue skies opened 21 years ago on Chattanooga's Southside. The store's owner, Tina Harrison, has a background in museum retail at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles and at Chattanooga's Creative Discovery Museum.

"I love museums and I loved those experiences — it was fun and a challenge to buy for stores based on a museum's collection or a particular exhibition, but the experience also made me want to have my own store where I could buy whatever cool stuff I wanted without the restrictions of a theme or subject," Harrison said.

Thus blue skies was born. In 2003, blue skies moved from South Market Street to Frazier Avenue on the North Shore.

* Products: blue skies is a one-of-a-kind small, local gift shop and its buyers are all about finding beautiful, cool items to share with customers. The store has been described as "a three-dimensional collage," a store of juxtaposed goods and sundries housed in a space that was once a neighborhood hardware store.

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Blue skies

The store offers thousands of items, from fun and whimsical to beautiful and practical: artisan jewelry, home wares, baby and kid gifts, paper goods, and a plethora of cards for every occasion. The store's wares are cool, creative, imaginative, intelligent, well-made, and sometimes funny.

"We love to hear our customers ooh and aah over new artisan jewelry, or watch them spend 30 minutes picking out just the right card," store manager Kim Mey er said.

Store merchandise and displays constantly change, and regulars love the store's window displays. blue skies is also known for personalized customer service and complimentary, signature gift wrapping.

* Mission: To create a unique shopping experience offering an eclectic selection of gifts and goods and the best customer service as Chattanooga's go-to place for perfect little gifts.

 

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