SUCCESS STORY – Biloxi Main Street
At least 50,000 visitors stopped each year at the Biloxi Visitor Center, housed in the architecturally intricate Brielmier House on the Town Green. This was the home of the Biloxi Main Street association which promotes local charm and historic beauty.
For over two decades Beacon Design, a division of the ChemArt Company, has been crafting unique keepsakes that capture the history and charm of Biloxi, MS. Each member of the community who purchases the annual keepsake, gets to take a piece of history home while helping Biloxi Main Street raise funds to aid in the restoration and preservation of their historic landmarks.
The office of Biloxi Main Street was obliterated by Hurricane Katrina. Its loss included a new box of 500 Beacon Design ornaments featuring the Dantzler House, a 150-year-old Historic Register house which also was destroyed in the tragedy along with most other historic buildings. Beacon Design quickly resupplied the current ornament as well as each of the 9 prior years’ ornaments, delivered to a temporary office in the corner of City Hall. Five hundred pieces of the current ornament, as well as all of the prior ones, sold out within 2 weeks as demand for the sentimental pieces created a waiting list of customers.
Annual ornaments are the organization’s sole fundraiser. Biloxi Main Street’s only advertising is an unveiling of the new ornament in the newspaper. “History sells itself,” said Kay Miller, executive director of Biloxi Main Street.