T he city’s downtown is home to flower, boutique, clothing and gift shops galore, which women are given an extra-special chance to enjoy on the first Monday of November each year.

Divas at Dusk is “a time for ladies to get out, leave the children and hubbies at home,” Tammie’s Touch owner and event organizer Tammie McQueen said.

The ninth annual Divas at Dusk packed women and some stray husbands into Tammie’s Touch on Monday evening, including Margot Lonabaugh of Lake Jackson and her sister-in-law, Carol Landry of Galveston.

Landry doesn’t come to Lake Jackson often, she said, but joined Lonabaugh for the event this year after Lonabaugh attended for the first time last year. The event reminds Landry of the Galveston art walk she attends each month, she said.

“I think it’s a great idea to get people out, and especially for women,” she said.

It is nice to be with friends and other women, Lonabaugh said, and it could be surprising to learn what each individual shop downtown offers if you hadn’t been there before.

The divas got a card to be stamped at each of the 12 participating locations, which entered them in drawings for further prizes, beyond the sales and free wine and refreshments stores set out for Monday’s event. The ladies also rode one of three limo buses to the various stops.

There are always discounts and goodies, McQueen said, plus a selection of distinctive items for women to buy for themselves or as Christmas presents.

“We have unique items that you can’t get in bigger box stores,” she said.

Plus, the selection comes with great quality and customer service, McQueen said.

Kimasha Jackson, the owner of the relatively new Stand Out Fashion boutique, was told by a customer she just had to participate in Divas at Dusk, she said.

She increased her store’s inventory from the event and got all of the family members she possibly could to help with staffing, Jackson said.

The event definitely helps shoppers know what she offers as a business, she said.

The same is true for Refresh Boutique, a social enterprise of True to Life Ministries, Manager Cindy Broaddus said. It’s always busy, but they love it, she said.

“We love the people; we love talking to all of the shoppers,” Broaddus said.

Shoppers are often surprised to learn about Refresh and all of the missions True To Life supports, she said.

Susie Tremain and Therese Condon of Lake Jackson attend Divas at Dusk for the “shopping and girl talk,” Tremain said.

It’s a neat idea, she said, and the women have been attending since the event began.

Monday, the ladies bought some Vera Bradley merchandise, a head wrap for a grandbaby and clothes for themselves, they said.

All of the stores offer perks and sales, and they managed to find great discounts at Elaine’s Fashions, Condon said.

Divas at Dusk is a way to thank the community for shopping local and small and give back to them, McQueen said.

The stores participating were Brazos Avenue Market, Carriage Flowers, Elaine’s Fashions, Forever Treasures, LJ Flower Co., Refresh Boutique, Tammie’s Touch, The Vinyl Door, Treasure Chest, Stand Out Fashion, Unbridled Boutique, Uncommon Market and Urban Eve.

Maddy McCarty is a reporter for The Facts. Contact her at 979-237-0151.

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