As Mary Rodgers was walking into a recent meeting of the Clintonville Historical Society, a friend asked what she had been up to lately.

As Mary Rodgers was walking into a recent meeting of the Clintonville Historical Society, a friend asked what she had been up to lately.

When Rodgers said she was planning to open a combination specialty gift shop and party room, the woman replied: "That takes a lot of moxie."

Moxie's is now open at 3339 N. High St.

Rodgers, a resident of East North Broadway and the membership chairwoman as well as librarian for the historical society, celebrated her 50th birthday in May and decided to take a plunge she'd contemplated a decade previously.

"I was going to open a retail location about 10 years ago and I was given another opportunity that I pursued, and now I decided that since I was turning 50 years old I was not going to keep putting this off," Rodgers said. "I don't think I'd call it a midlife crisis. I saw an opportunity to do this now and I decided to take it this time."

Rodgers was chief financial officer for Columbus Wood Products until this past March and prior to that worked in the financial end of things for Designer Shoe Warehouse.

"So I'm leaving the financial world and joining the gift shop world," she said.

Moxie's currently carries barware and dishware, jewelry geared mostly for young girls and all kinds of bridal and baby shower gifts. Jewelry for adults will be coming soon.

"And then, of course, we have candy," the owner said.

A "wall of candy," to be specific, penny candy in rows and rows of containers that can be purchased by the piece or packaged for gifts.

Brands carried by Moxie's include Charm It bracelets, Fiesta Dinnerware, Hartstone Pottery out of Zanesville and a new line of dish cloths and bath accessories out of Indianapolis called Shag It. Some vintage martini sets are for sale, Rodgers said, as well as currently some vintage butter dishes to celebrate the arrival of Ohio sweet corn.

"Our store is not all about vintage," Rodgers said. "It's all about celebrating and entertaining."

Moxie's will begin booking events in the party room starting in August. The space can accommodate 40 people for dining, and includes a small lounge area for the opening of gifts for children's parties and bridal showers, according to Rodgers.

Custom-made piatas are available for birthday parties for younsters.

"I do enjoy entertaining, but this has been the concept I have worked through a couple of times mentally and just now decided although recessions are a difficult time for businesses they are also an opportunity," Rodgers said.

For the past eight years that she's resided on East North Broadway, Rodgers said that she began increasingly to question why she was driving to the Short North or Upper Arlington or Grandview Heights whenever she wanted to buy birthday or party gifts for her son or friends or other family members.

"Every time I'd drive out of Clintonville I'd think why not be part of the solution and create this opportunity right here," she said. "I think the people who live in this area are going to find this to be a good place to shop."

The store is open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. Current Saturday hours, because the Clintonville Farmers' Market is open, are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

As for the name, Rodgers said that she'd been leaning toward something like Moxie's even before her friend made the comment about opening a business taking some real courage. Rodgers' husband, Paul, is originally from Moxahala, an unincorporated community in Perry County.

"I always kind of liked the name Moxahala," Mary Rodgers said. "We were thinking of different names ... and this was one of them that was on the board."