New businesses create community hub for Longview's Pine Tree neighborhood
An Excerpt from Longview News Journal Article Originally Published Here on March 21, 2021
Jason Robbins and wife, Mimi Page, were among Evergreen’s loyal customers, and they now own a business, The Dreaming Peddler, also in the shopping center.
Robbins and Page moved to Longview a couple of years ago from Los Angeles. Similar to Kim and Park, they were looking to leave the big city and move to a smaller community with many amenities. They found a home in Longview and became part of the Pine Tree neighborhood.
“We were customers of the coffee shop, and we drove up one day. We were waiting, and I saw a young couple come out of the coffee shop on a date,” Robbins recalled. “They kind of looked left and right and saw that there was nothing else to do, so they got in their car and left. I thought, there needs to be something fun for people to do. Not necessarily to shop but for kids to be able to walk around and have a place with some aesthetic.”
So, Robbins began building what would become The Dreaming Peddler, a shop whose tagline describes itself as being a place for antiques, oddities and ethereal treasures. Since opening four months ago, the shop has evolved to meet the desires of its customer base.
Today, the store features items from 13 consigned artists, some of whom are local. Visitors can find handmade jewelry, handmade candles, organic body lines and selections of gems and crystals, which are among the most popular items offered.
“It’s really beautiful,” said Page, who in addition to crafting candles and cultivating many of the shop’s gems and crystals also is a musician. “I’m an independent artist, so what I really love is that we’ve helped showcase the arts and eclectic items and have also given people more organic ideas. … Here, we’re all supporting each other.”
Robbins said, initially, many of the store’s customers came from the coffee shop — people who visited Evergreen and wandered down to The Dreaming Peddler. Because The Dreaming Peddler is one of the only shops of its kind in East Texas, it has drawn attention from people in Tyler and other surrounding communities who now come to Longview to visit the store. The shop pays it forward by telling its new customers about Evergreen.
In all, Robbins, said he feels like his shop as well as the businesses in the center have found “a good tribe.”
“My goal is just to make people happy. I especially wanted to find a place for a little bit of the marginalized community of Longview, who maybe didn’t feel like they had a store outside of Spencer’s and Hot Topic,” Robbins said. “We just wanted to give the community something fun.”