Searching for last-minute gifts? You’re far from alone

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By WVUA 23 News Reporter Aajene Robinson

The last weekend before Christmas has come and gone, meaning shoppers have precious few days to pick up any last-minute gifts or ingredients for those holiday treats.

Businesses around Tuscaloosa were overflowing last weekend, including at the brand-new Say Cheese Selfie Museum in University Mall.

The new photo spot, owned by Tara Smith and Tamoria Ford, said they’re expecting plenty of business in the leadup to Christmas and beyond.

They celebrated the grand opening of the museum Friday with a ribbon-cutting with family, friends and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.

The Say Cheese Selfie Museum offers 13 trendy, artistic and unique backdrops, along with professional lighting so customers can take their own photos and videos with family and friends.

Damario Ford, who is one of the owners, said that while many people might think what they’re offering is similar to a photo booth, that’s not the case at all.

“We wanted to do something different to keep up with the times,” Ford said. “If you think about it, when you take pictures on your phone of your family and friends, what’s the next thing you do? Upload it to social media.”

Tamoira Ford said she’s proud to be part of the business so younger members of the family can see their success and know they can do it, too.

“Since we are a family business everyone comes in here, they help out, everyone is hands on, everything is super-fast on the weekends, so we need everybody here,” Ford said.

As shoppers get their gifts in order, many said they’re finding exactly what they need at University Mall.

“It’s going really well,” said Max Hoffman on Friday. “We’ve gotten a bunch of gifts for everybody.”

Josephine Swift said she’s thankful she can shop and stay safe.

“It’s going just fine,” Swift said. “I’m able to keep my distance as well as find the items that I need.”

Jessie and Gloria Walker, who live in Mississippi, said Tuscaloosa’s selections can’t be beat.

“We always come to the mall when we come over here,” Gloria Walker said. “We always stop and shop at the mall, and we just enjoy doing it.”

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