Ladies, start your engines — and come on down to the square in Glen Rose, where the shopping is fine.
From 4-7 p.m. on the third Saturday of each summer month, many of the merchants on the downtown square participate in an evening of fun, discovery and fellowship known as Girls Night Out.
This month’s Girls Night Out will be this Saturday, July 15, according to one of the key organizers, Barb Briscoe.
“It started years ago and it kind of drifted away, and the square resurrected it a year ago,” said Briscoe, who owns and operates Strut Your Stuff Boutique at 102 Walnut Street.
Briscoe explained that the event is partially designed to help working women have time to relax and enjoy browsing through the downtown stores after the usual hours are over.
“We always offer refreshments. We do a lot of fun things here like drawings (every half hour at Strut Your Stuff) and prizes,” Briscoe said. “Restaurants on the square are very generous with their door prizes. Merchants and the bed and breakfasts give generously. There’s really some nice door prizes.”
Some other participating merchants also have door prizes, and the final drawing of each Girls Night Out is held at the gazebo on the courthouse lawn.
Briscoe said she sees plenty of enjoyment reflected on the faces of those who attend.
“They really have a good time, and a lot of times they bring their friends and family,” Briscoe said.
One of her employees at Strut Your Stuff, Maureen Griffin, echoed that feeling.
“You see women come alive,” Griffin said, adding that many men love it as well. “You see the women really enjoying themselves and the fellowship with the other women. It’s really a positive time.
“I hear ladies laughing and I think, ‘This is what it’s all about.’ ”
Among the fun things offered by Strut Your Stuff during Girls Night Out is their Teddy bear toss, in which shoppers can earn 10 to 15 percent off full-price clothing.
Briscoe said her boutique features “a little something for almost everyone. We have quality clothing at affordable prices. It’s a fun atmosphere. My whole goal is to make women feel good about themselves.”
With the atmosphere of shopping late all around, the women tend to “venture out more” than they normally might, and even collaborate with each other while making their selections, Griffin said.
Briscoe said two Girls Night Out dates this year were a little slow, but they fell on busy weekends. They were Father’s Day and Easter, when many residents may have been either traveling, or entertaining family visitors.
“It’s about introducing locals to come out and have fun and enjoy the square and learn what we have to offer,” Briscoe said. “Because there’s really a lot to offer downtown. And we’re fun. And you’ll never meet nicer people than the merchants downtown. They’re amazing.”
Briscoe said that other merchants who actively participate in Girls Night Out include Lost in Time Antiques to Boutiques; Barnyard; Tumbleweed Lane; Texas Treasures; Tiger Claw Tactical; Miss Dixie’s Cottage (women’s clothing store); Rock ’N’ Hair; Tracks ’N’ Time Too; and Paisley Reese.
“We’re like a team and we work together as one, but we’re separate entities,” said Briscoe. “That’s another good reason for Girls Night Out. We all promote each other’s stores.
“We take turns hosting Girls Night Out. The host (provides) all the balloons and drawing slips, and makes sure all the merchants have what they need to participate.”
Briscoe and her husband, former Marine Steve Briscoe, have been married 51 years. They have two sons, five grandsons and two great-grandchildren.
Briscoe started Strut Your Stuff Boutique five years ago in another building on the square. She has opened the store in its current location two years ago.
Briscoe said that the store has been an opportunity for friendship.
“Each person I meet in the store enriches my life and helps me to become a better person,” said Briscoe, who has three employees. “And I hope I can be a gift to them also. People are good. They’re fun, they’re delightful.”
The store hours for Strut Your Stuff Boutique are: 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 9 a.m.-7 p.m. Friday and Saturday (summer); and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.