By Christy Scannell
SDUN Senior Editor
Although the event took a hiatus during this year’s early months, it will continue each third Wednesday through 2010 with the exception of September and November. Many of the Mission Hills business district’s 400-plus members will participate, offering discounts, demonstrations and complimentary food and beverages.
“Everybody tends to get in their cars and leave to shop but we want to remind people that all you have to do is get out of your house and walk a few blocks,” said Richard Stegner, executive director of the Mission Hills Business Improvement District. “Everything you need is here.”
Business owners say they appreciate the chance to acquaint shoppers with what they have to offer.
“Last year I had people stop in and say they never knew I was here before,” said Elizabeth Leffler-Agia, who owns Cecilia Boutique at 928 Ft. Stockton Dr. “I really benefit from it because I’m kind of tucked in the back [of the building].”
The staff at Shear Paradise, 3991 Falcon St., shared Leffler-Agia’s experience.
“We had a really good turnout with people walking in and saying, ‘Oh, my gosh, I didn’t know this was here’ even though I’ve been here for 13 years,” said the salon’s owner, Beckie Webster.
Webster, who will do a drawing for a free haircut ($60 value) during May’s Mission Nights, has partnered with Francine Bush to start a second company, Upcycled Life, to make and sell vintage-themed accessories. They will have their jewelry, tote bags, aprons, “manoprons” (aprons for men made from neckties) and other items at the 1Mission building during the event. Joining them will be Mission Hills Artists, a new group of 10 to 15 artists, who will be exhibiting and selling work such as stained glass, jewelry, paintings, clothing and cards.
A free rose and a glass of wine will greet visitors to Mission Hills Florist, 901 W. Washington Ave.
“We get a real feeling of community [from Mission Nights],” said Sandy Villa, a designer at the floral shop.
Venissimo, a cheese store at 754 W. Washington Ave., does not do a lot of advertising so events such as Mission Nights are integral to the business’s success, said manager Bianca Trejo.
“People are still finding out about us on a day-to-day basis so this gives us more exposure,” she said. Venissimo will offer cheese samples during the event.
Just in time for bathing suit season, Blake and Gwen Beckom will offer walk-up body composition testing and give away a free week of personal training at Mission Nights. The owners of Fitness Together, 4019 Goldfinch St., the Beckoms provide personal training in private suites.
“People always come up to us at [Mission Nights] and say they’ve been meaning to come in. I always tell them, ‘Tonight’s the night,’” Blake Beckom said. “We’ve drawn in quite a few new clients and made a lot of new friends. It’s fun.”
Staff from GNC Hillcrest, 658 University Ave., will join the Beckoms with samples of protein drinks and other fitness food.
“Neighborhoods have their farmers’ markets and festivals – I’m really glad Mission Hills has Mission Nights,” Leffler-Agia said.