By Kevin Greer
Lakeside Communications Manager
World Next Door has been a staple on Second Street since 2007. Though the store has new owners and a new name, it’s not getting a major makeover.
Cassie and Charlie Davis opened Gifts That Give Back in April and will carry many of the same products as Kim Honeycutt did at World Next Door. The Davises have another Gifts That Give Back location in Logan, Ohio, in the Hocking Hills region, which was inspired, in part, by Cassie’s experience at World Next Door.
Cassie liked to shop at World Next Door, so when she wanted to start a mobile shop to take to outdoor markets around the region, she reached out to Honeycutt for ideas. Later, the Davises purchased a building in Logan for their store.
“Kim was a mentor to me and really helped me get started,” Cassie said. “I’ll do exactly what she did at World Next Door.”
Honeycutt’s inventory consisted of ethically made items from artisans all over the world. Cassie does the same at the Logan store and works with many of the same vendors as Honeycutt. They bounced ideas off each other about which artisans they should contact for merchandise. When Honeycutt decided to sell the business, she contacted Cassie to see if she was interested.
“She texted me out of the blue in December,” Cassie said. “They wanted to get back into mission work, so she asked me if I wanted to take over World Next Door. Charlie and I talked and prayed about it, and it all kind of fell into place.”
The Davises have had a place in Marblehead since 2010. In recent years, Cassie considered opening a Gifts That Give Back store closer to Lakeside, but with three young kids, the timing wasn’t right. When opportunity knocked, or in this case, texted, the decision was basically a no-brainer. Charlie said it’s been a smooth transition and most customers won’t even notice any changes.
“It’s very easy because all the products are the same and a lot of employees stayed on,” Charlie said. “It was just as simple as changing the sign. It was all God’s timing.”
They want to wait until their kids (ages 10, 8 and 6) are done with school before having a ceremony. They had a soft opening April 21 to get the staff familiar with the store. Cassie noted there are a lot of items 50% off to make room for the new merchandise to go on the shelves in time for the Chautauqua season.
“There’s going to be a lot of new things coming, but the basic principle stays the same,” Cassie said. “Everything is ethically made, and it provides dignified work to artisans across the globe. It’s good shopping.”
The Davises want to hire a couple more part-time employees for the summer. Their goal is to stay open year-round like neighboring store, Miss Mercedes.
“It’s amazing how many people like to shop local and support small businesses in Lakeside,” Charlie said. “People go out of their way and that’s a really awesome thing. As long as it sustains itself, we’re definitely going to keep the doors open.”
The Davises go from the mountains of Hocking Hills to the lake every summer. This year, they plan to enjoy time on their boat and at a few more hours in Lakeside
“We’re just excited to be a part of the community and begin this new chapter with a second location of Gifts That Give Back in one of our favorite places in the world,” Cassie said. “When you just enter into Lakeside and you’re walking around, there’s just a different feel here. Everyone’s extremely friendly, smiling and happy. Our kids love it.”