If you spend any time downtown, you’ve probably seen her—a cheerful petite redhead with a quick smile and brisk step.  And if you participate in any of the downtown events such as First Fridays or Cash Mobs, then you’ve undoubtedly crossed paths.  That little force of nature is Vicki Ayers, the unofficial ambassador of downtown Marietta.

Vicki was born and raised here, and her love for the community is unmistakable.  After retiring from Marietta Memorial Hospital over a year ago Vicki found herself with more time to do what she enjoys. And one of her favorite things to do is simply walk around town—up and down the sidewalks, in and out of shops and along the river trail.

Since I opened Wit & Whimzy, Vicki has become a regular visitor and one of my biggest supporters.  I think if you ask any merchant in Marietta you’ll hear the same thing.  Regardless of the weather we know that this friendly lady will show up for special events and even for our own personal milestones.  It’s not just about shopping; Vicki spends time getting to know the business people of downtown and supports what we do.

I’ve heard visitors describe a “friendly lady” they met who told them about local sites or offered suggestions about where to eat.  Since her daily walks offer many opportunities to interact with people, Vicki uses those opportunities to share her love and knowledge of Marietta.  From historic sites to shop specialties to the best place to find a good burger—Vicki is eager to offer suggestions and answer questions.

When asked, Vicki said one of her most common suggestions is to encourage people to “walk around and see what we have, from historic buildings to biking trails.”  And since she speaks from experience, people appreciate her sincerity and often take her up on those suggestions.  During her frequent visits to shops Vicki has become familiar with our inventory and style of products.  If she overhears someone wondering what a shop carries or where they can find a particular item, she will kindly give them a quick description or recommendation.

One of the perks of living and working in a small town is getting to know our neighbors and enjoying a  sense of community.  I think Vicki summed it up when she told me her favorite part of spending time downtown is “the friendships that she makes and keeps”.  Thank you, Vicki Ayers, from me and my downtown neighbors for your friendship and support.  Marietta is lucky to have you as its unofficial ambassador.