Since the launch of The Lucky Rabbit in downtown Hattiesburg eight years ago, owners Brandon and Abby Thaxton have operated on a four-day business model, opening their doors the first Thursday through Sunday of every month.
Although that model has worked well for the shop – which features a variety of antiques, clothing, books and other items – the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the Thaxtons to switch over to a new weekend schedule. Beginning Jan. 9, the shop, which is located at 217 Mobile St., will be open every weekend from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays.
“Being a non-essential business, during the stay-at-home orders we were forced to close for a month, and we basically freaked out,” Brandon said. “We said that if we can open back up, we’re going to open as much as possible, just because we don’t know if things are going to shut down again and all that, and this is how we make a living.”
The Thaxtons expect the new schedule to keep crowds to a minimum as well as make the shop more accessible to out-of-towners who may be passing through the Hub City.
“When we weighed it all out, it just made more sense to be open every weekend,” Brandon said. “Most importantly, we want to be open to support our other downtown businesses. We want downtown to thrive, and we want to bring people down here.”
The shop will still feature what Brandon calls its “epic sets,” such as recreations of popular movie and TV sets such as “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “The Office.” In addition, when COVID restrictions allow, the Thaxtons plan to hold an outdoor sale featuring various vendors on the first Saturday of every month.
“Before, we were working on a monthly basis in terms of doing some epic thing every single month to get people in,” Brandon said. “We don’t want people to think that we’re not going to be still changing it up.
“We’re just having to rethink how we do things and gradually make changes. We’re still planning on bringing out those photo ops and sets throughout the year. Our plan is to gradually change things so that if you come in weekend to weekend, it won’t be like your typical antique mall with the same stuff in the same spot. We want to keep people interested, bring in new inventory and offer possibly a food truck or something like that, too.”
The shop will still adhere to all precautions in face of the pandemic, including cleaning procedures and limits on capacity.
“With us being open more, it’s just more opportunity for people to get in; they don’t have to pack in here over one weekend,” Brandon said. “And obviously, every customer and employee is required to wear a mask. We’ve got hand sanitizer stations set up, and we’re just trying to keep people safe and comfortable.”
New Business Hours:
• Beginning Jan. 9, The Lucky Rabbit will open every weekend.
• Shop hours are 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturdays and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sundays.
• The shop is located at 217 Mobile Street.