A Brookside Staple
Dime stores have been the hallmark of many neighborhood shopping centers for years. Brookside’s own New Dime Store has been here since 1939.
“When I walked into the Dime Store for the first time, it took me back to being with my grandmother and going shopping in stores like this. There were things everywhere and I loved it!” said owner Kim Harris.
She and her business partner came on as co-business partners in 2008 after friends of theirs bought and remodeled The New Dime Store. Kim and her partner Kevin have been the sole owners since 2011. You’ll find Kim buzzing around the store most days, helping customers find the perfect gift, gadget, craft item, or pretty much anything. She can tell you exactly where anything is in the store.
Get to Know Kim
Back in 2008, the former owner of the New Dime Store mentioned to Kim’s business partner Kevin, that they were looking for business partners. Kevin told Kim to go check out the New Dime Store.
“I had been to every other store on this block except the dime store until he told me to come here,” Kim said. “When I walked in, it took me back to being with my grandmother and going shopping in stores like this. Things were everywhere. I loved it. I remember thinking ‘I could do this!’”
Kim spent her earlier career in IT. She was not working when she and her husband became business partners in the New Dime Store. She didn’t have any retail experience, but jumped in full-force and loved it.
She loves getting to interact with customers and her employees. Kim said she loves when people come in looking for something and she can show them all that we have and walk them right to what they need.
The Best Part of the Job
Kim is CEO, Owner, President, and the Go-To-Person of the New Dime Store.
“I love interacting with the customers,” Kim said. “I’m usually on the floor talking to the customers and helping them find what they need. I also like when customers give suggestions on products.”
People will often bring her photos or samples of things they’ve found on their travels and ask Kim if she can carry them in her store.
“I wouldn’t be here without my customers and I definitely wouldn’t be here without my employees,” she said.
Kim loves everything about her job. “I have the personality for it. I love people. I like being my own boss. I don’t think I could ever work for anybody.”
Her daily routine starts with yoga. “I can’t get through the day without it,” Kim said.
Once she gets to the store, she starts going through emails. “I can’t do that in bed because I’d never get out of bed,” Kim said and laughed. Then she checks on deliveries, her employees, and when they’re in transition season she plans where stuff needs to move. She calls it “The Dime Store Shuffle” and does a little dance, miming putting stuff on the shelves.
Keeping a Wide Selection
The biggest challenge of owning a dime store is keeping up with the inventory.
“I’ve got to keep it new and fresh, but still stay true to the old stuff,” Kim said. “Customers are evolving. Older generations want different things than younger generations, but we still want to keep that nostalgia that dime stores have.”
“We carry a little bit of everything,” Kim said. “If you can’t find it here, chances are you might not be able to find it.”
The New Dime Store has everything from hair nets to diaper pins to vintage candies and funky gadgets and gifts. They have the widest selection of ribbon by the yard in the city.
“I pride myself in having things you can’t find everywhere,” Kim said.
At Home in Brookside
The New Dime Store is located on 63rd Street, right in the middle of Brookside. Kim said she loves how walkable the neighborhood is and how friendly the people are. Kim sits on the board of the Brookside Business Association and continues to serve her community.
“When I first became a part of the Merchant’s Association, everyone was very welcoming and willing to give a helping hand,” she said. “I love that everyone around Brookside is pretty friendly and that it’s fairly safe. Everyone wants to help.”
“Customers care that we’re here,” she said. “I’ll get calls whenever we’re changing the displays in the window and people will say ‘I saw the windows are empty—you’re not leaving are you?!’ And I’ll laugh and say, no, no, we’re just changing the displays. We’re not going anywhere!”
As far as future plans, Kim would love to open another location. “To open a place like this you have to have the right neighborhood,” she said. “It needs to be a place with locally-owned businesses similar to Brookside. I would love to do that.”
Things You (Maybe) Didn’t Know About The New Dime Store
- There are actually TWO floors. You can go upstairs and find some seasonal goodies, hardware, and more.
- On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there’s a children’s music class upstairs called Jenny’s music class. So if you hear lots of noise, it’s the sound of children dancing and banging instruments.
- Kim can tell you exactly where any item is in the store. “If you can’t find something here, chances are you might not be able to find it at all,” she said. She carries a lot of random things that are hard to find at other places, like hair nets, novelty candies, fun gadgets, or diaper pins. “ I pride myself on having things you can’t find everywhere.”
- It’s one of the few places you can get ribbon by the yard.
- The floors are the original hardwood floors. And the dip in the floorboards at the front of the store in front of the window is from where the old candy display used to be.