Tiby Weinstein’s passion for brick-and-mortar stores is a family legacy
Tiby Weinstein, owner of Gage’s stationery and gift store on Augusta Road, is not sure being a shopkeeper “was the correct career choice for me, but I am pretty passionate about brick-and-mortar stores.”
As well she should. Right career choice or not, it is in her DNA.
Tiby is the daughter of Ben Weinstein, who managed the Meyers-Arnold Department Store for nearly 40 years on Main Street, where Mast General Store thrives today, and at McAlister Square, where it moved as an anchor store in 1968.
In her elementary school years, Meyers-Arnold “was my after-school care. Now when I walk into Mast, I know every inch of that building.”
She retains fond nostalgia for the glory days of department store retailing when long-tenured clerks knew their merchandise and their customers. Shoppers didn’t have to search for help, and they got their hankies wrapped in tissue paper.
Today, when she walks into a department store, “I am one of the few people who truly feels sorry for the woman in hosiery who also has to cover handbags and jewelry. All she is getting is animosity. She has been asked to do too much.”
Weinstein went to work for Gage’s the week in 1984 when co-owners Mary Gage Dobbins and Pee Wee Satterfield opened the store at Caper’s Place. She bought Satterfield’s share a year later, and she and Dobbins owned it together until 1999 when Dobbins retired and Weinstein became sole owner. Seven years ago, Weinstein moved across Augusta to Lewis Plaza.
“It’s bizarre for me to think I’ve been doing it for 30 years, but that’s the truth.”