Dana’s on Bainbridge is a legacy and a fun store. The business has been around since 1977 and has been owned by three community-oriented people for 46 years, including current owner John Carson. He describes Dana’s as “what you would consider a traditional card and gift shop …along with things you would expect to find, like puzzles and candles and humorous items and party goods and things like that.”
As far as a legacy is concerned, every owner was “really involved in the community,” Carson explains — including the previous owner, who was “very visible and very hands-on.”
“Even our family — we’re just really involved, and everybody knows my wife … and everybody knows our kids,” he says. “You will find me in the shop every day.”
As the third owner of the business, Carson sees himself as a caretaker. “At some point, I’ll hopefully pass Dana’s off to somebody else,” he says.
The staff spend a lot of time focused on visual merchandising and storytelling to provide shoppers a true experience, according to Carson. They want you to find unique and fun things and feel like someone has devoted a lot of thought and effort to providing that experience.
He believes everyone who works at the store is very passionate about that goal and enjoys being there. “It’s not about having a shop and throwing things on a shelf,” he says.
Between legacy and conscientious salesmanship, Dana’s on Bainbridge is special. With respect to salesmanship, the shop truly embraces Christmas. “I’m really excited about the return of ‘Holidays by Dana’s,'” Carson says.
“Holidays by Dana’s” is a special occasion that begins on Oct. 1, with the shop going all out with decorations. “We try to turn it into kind of like a winter wonderland… to put everybody in the holiday mood,” he says.
Carson’s personal vehicle plays a part in this annual celebration. “Every year, I take my red Vespa scooter and I … put it in the window of the shop. I decorate it to look like Santa’s sleigh,” he says. “We have packages tied on the back and all kind of fun things like that. It’s wrapped in lights.”
During the holidays, Dana’s is the go-to place on the island for Christmas cards, wrap and other necessities. “You will also find this year, from musicals and light-ups and ornaments and tree decorations to fun, holiday things like little headbands that have reindeer antlers and just fun, goofy things,” Carson says. It’s the perfect shop to help you prep for the holidays.
“This year, we have plans to make it the biggest and best yet,” Carson adds. It’s a Christmas legacy of “Holidays by Dana’s” and a legacy of Dana’s on Bainbridge.