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Karla Brown to host open house at new business location

NATCHEZ — Karla Brown, of “Downtown Karla Brown” shuttle and tour service, started the new year at a new office at 512 Franklin Street.

To show off the new location, she is hosting an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. on Friday.

The open house is “come and go as you please,” but please bring a facemask and social distance, Brown said.

The event is open to all who want to come and visit and enjoy light refreshments, but is mostly a chance for the locals and business owners to see her new office space, she said.

“That way they know I’m here and can tell the tourists where to find me,” Brown said.

Brown opened her airport shuttle and tour business in June 2013 at 406 Franklin Street. Brown said she moved to Franklin Street Relics, across from Natchez Coffee Company, in December.

“It is in the middle of a shop full of stuff to browse, so it’s a neat experience,” Brown said of the new location. “My first thought was that I would have an open office with so many feet of space but as it turns out they gave me what used to be the old office in this furniture store. So my office is separate from all of the little shops but you have to walk through them to get to me.

Brown said since the COVID-19 pandemic, her tourism business has been slow and limited to mostly walking tours outside.

“I have the walking ghost tour and the Greg Isle tour outside in the fresh air,” she said, adding she has been laying low until she can get her second dose of the new COVID-19 vaccine.

Brown has a unique history of walking and plenty of stories about her journeys to share with her patrons.

She gained fame and popularity from a 2001 cross-country trek, when she walked through “two-and-a-half years, 9,000-miles, 35 states and 18 pairs of shoes” before going on a second walk from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska to California in 2009, she said.

Brown said her journeys were a celebration of her winning a long battle against epilepsy throughout her childhood before a surgery when she was 18 years old ended her seizures for good.

Brown said she is looking forward to seeing everyone at the open house.

“I’m anticipating a lot of the locals to come, browse the shops and see what we’ve got,” she said.

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