Cathy Joiner had a lot to be thankful for last week. Her plate was awfully full — and we’re not talking turkey and dressing.

Joiner opened Bliss, a gift and home boutique, in Banner Hall, just in time for holiday shopping.

“It’s been hectic — the logo, the point of sale system, the signage, the wifi,” she said, “but God knew I worked better under pressure, so here we go!”

The mother of three gave up her booth in the Antique Shops of Jackson in August with plans of spending time with her terminally ill father and her son, now in Virginia for college. But the perfect space accelerated her time table.

“When I was thinking about what I would do when my kids were gone, I knew it would be in this centralized area,” she says of her location. “When (the former Aqua The Day Spa space) came available in September, I thought, ‘I’ll be in the mix with Bridal Path, Tuxes Too and Fresh Ink and it’s such a good fit.’ To know it’s part of all that’s going on in Fondren…I’m looking forward to jumping on that bandwagon, too.”

Though Joyner was not planning on even beginning to look for a space until the first of the year, she’s here now with a store she hopes reminds shoppers of a long gone Jackson staple. “I want to be similar to Fridges that was in Highland Village,” she explains. “It’s where you went to get a nice gift and brides and the birthday girl — everybody just loved to get a gift from there.”

Bliss will be quick, easy and convenient spot to stop in for something unique. You’ll find gifts for brides, babies, pets and teen girls, home interiors and another tough to shop category. “Men think women are more challenging, but it’s harder to buy for a man,” Joyner laughs. And she has you covered. The “man cave” features leather bags, colognes, chess sets and other masculine-themed items.

Joyner says she hopes to feature the hard-to-find things that aren’t already here. “To be such a small town, Jackson has some exceptional retailers,” she notes. “I think the store will evolve and change a lot over the first few months. We want to listen to our customers and find out what they are looking for. I’ve always loved going to market and finding unique things. That’s the fun part to me.”

Bliss will shine the spotlight on weddings and all of the special events that surround them. “Weddings are fun and happy, but the truth is, they can be pretty stressful,” Joyner says. “I want to make it easy and help with hostess gifts and bridesmaid’s gifts that they’ll be excited about that don’t break the bank.” Her team will include recent brides and mothers of the brides who Joyner calls “a good source of wisdom.”

If you had told Joyner she’d own a retail store one day, she says she would have laughed you out of the room. “I worked retail in high school and college but I never imagined this,” she says. “I’m going from three children to one big baby.”