Treasured Omaha retailer The Afternoon is marking a significant milestone this month – 55 years of providing Omaha with that one-of-a-kind shopping experience: eclectic, distinctive and fun.
“Over the years, The Afternoon has become so much more than just a gift shop – it's a place where thoughtful, fun people can go to meet before lunch, procrastinate away from work, make a first date less awkward, or buy a loved one something amazing. I'm proud to work at a community touchstone, a place so overwhelmingly associated with warm memories,” said Jen Go, store manager.
The Afternoon will be celebrating its 55th with a three-day party – Friday, August 25 to Sunday, August 27. (A media day is a planned for Thursday, August 24.) In addition to cake and balloons, there will be lots of giveaways.
“It'll be super fun to say 'thank you' to our customers by giving away gifts all weekend. We're building up a pretty big stash. All you have to do is stop by and spin the giant wheel,” Go said.
The Afternoon brought its patented blend of wit, panache and “browse-ability” to Midtown Crossing in 2010 as one of the development’s original, family-owned retail partners. The store’s arrival at 32nd & Farnam represented a homecoming of sorts. The Afternoon originally opened as an art gallery in 1962 near 40th & Farnam.
“Our products and audience have both evolved – from art gallery to gifts and from collectors to 'just about everyone,'” Go said. “I absolutely love that our soul remains anchored in creativity, but the experience of our store is available to so many more people.”
Today’s The Afternoon is known for its wide and ever-evolving range of inventory – everything from art and housewares to jewelry, books and games.
“In its early years, the store's emphasis was on well-designed items, many of them imported, that were not available locally. There is still a strong emphasis on good design and on merchandise that is not available elsewhere,” said owner Marie Clifford.
Go added, “I joke that The Afternoon is like the ocean. At first, we seem easy to define but below the surface, we're literally changing all the time - new products, new displays, new ways to use familiar things. I tell people, 'You know what to expect but you never know what you'll find.'”
Throughout the years, Clifford said the most enjoyable part has been “discovering exciting new things to share with our customers.”
As part of The Afternoon’s 55th birthday celebration, customers are encouraged to use Facebook or Instagram to share photos of their favorite Afternoon gifts with the hashtag #afternoon55. The store will be picking photos to win prizes for the rest of the summer.
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