Gallatin has a history of welcoming local shops, and recently, word is seeming to spread — specifically to boutiques.
In just the last four months, the city has seen a wave of locally-owned creative home decor and style boutiques, each opening with its own unique vibe.
“I’m thrilled to see Gallatin growing the way it is,” said long-time resident Mary Lee Wilkes, who opened Bee Inspired earlier this month. “I think we’re growing, but I think we’re doing it at a wonderful pace that we actually can support the growth.”
Since March 1, these shops have opened their doors:
- Timeless Treasures, vintage, jewelry and upcycled goods, 112 N. Water Ave.
- CuriOddities, antiques, bone art, odd knick knacks, 153 Witherspoon Ave.
- Rusticoco, furniture, home decor accents, 880 Green Lea Blvd.
- Bee Inspired, furniture, home decor and art, 223 N. Water Ave.
These shops come to the market of established businesses including Velvet Antler, Revamp, Pickled Beet, and so many more.
And there’s room for them all.
“I want more (local businesses) to start coming in this area and let Gallatin just blow up,” said Charity Gordon, who owns the eclectic — and admittedly a little weird — shop CuriOddities.
Why boutiques settle in Gallatin
Shop owners want to keep their passions in the town where they feel at home, and where they can develop relationships with their customers.
“I think the other people that live here and that are moving here like the small-town feel, and they like to shop local,” said Timeless Treasures owner Shannon Bussel.
So far, customers have responded favorably, even returning to view new inventory.
“I’m a hometown girl, and I’ve always felt the love and support of my community,” Wilkes said.
Although they have different backgrounds, Wilkes and Gordon are familiar to the Gallatin retail world.
Wilkes grew up helping in her father’s clothing shops where, most recently, Amberleaf Marketplace occupied, and had her own kindergarten and an antique shop among other ventures.
►Related: Worthington Galleries moving to former Amberleaf space
“I knew all the merchants, and I’ve always loved retail,” Wilkes said.
Gordon grew up helping her grandmother in her thrift shop, the Blue Barn, where Pickled Beet now stands.
►Related: Gallatin honors Pickled Beet with beautification award
That’s how she developed a love for antiques and learned to refinish furniture.
“It had always been a passion of mine to follow in her footsteps,” Gordon said.
Trend of refurbished goods
These shops share another common thread: they all take old pieces and turn them into something new.
“I love to upcycle,” said Timeless Treasures owner Shannon Bussel. “I don’t like for anything to go to waste.”
Rusticoco owner Karen Snyder builds her brand on a look that mixes elegant French with rustic styles.
“What I’m trying to do is preserve an heirloom piece that looks modern,” she said in a previous interview with the Gallatin News Examiner.
While some of the shop owners searched to take their dreams to other cities, from East Nashville to Hendersonville, the support and feel of Gallatin makes it a sanctuary.
“It’s just so homey,” Gordon said.