March 1st is the opening day for a new store that is bound to be a blessing to the folks of Athens. It is called Garnet’s On The Square. As the above subtitle suggests, it is the desire of Garnet King, the owner, to have it be “a gem of a store.” Garnet’s will be located at 116 N. Jefferson, two doors down from Reliance Bank in Athens, and is going to be a marvelous addition to our downtown core.
Garnet King moved here when she was 16, and owning a store has been a lifelong dream of hers. Her friend, Donna Ellis, who was helping with staging the store while I was there for the interview said, “Garnet is a treasure of a friend, and this is her time.”
Garnet wanted to make sure that the readers of Athens Now knew two things: how grateful she is to God, family, and friends for their help, (as well as the opportunity to serve the people of Athens), and to her parents, who many years ago put a blurb in the Athens News Courier for her birthday. It said, “Some people dream of diamonds and rubies, but to us a ‘Garnet’ was a dream come true and the best gem of all.”
Her son, Adam Clinard, who owns Complete Property Maintenance, her brother, Tom Little of TLC Construction, her daughter-in-law, Kim Clinard, and even her grandchildren have gotten involved in the project, as well as others. She made a special point of praising her husband, Mike King, for all his support. He had prayed about opening the store, as she has, and felt the “go ahead.” Of Mike she says, “He is the love of my life.”
So, what is going to be at Garnet’s On The Square? I think the best description might be, “a classy smorgasbord.” There will be privately owned booths that will have antiques, books, re-purposed furniture, items made from barn siding, paintings, and children’s clothing up to size 6. High end name brand furniture will be available, as will new craft items such as wreaths and wall art.
Garnet’s daughter-in-law, Kim Clinard, designed the charming store sign. She makes coasters out of tile that have Scripture references on them. “If you don’t know what the Scripture says, it might inspire you to open your Bible,” said Garnet with a smile. For her part, Kim has taken pieces of barn wood, transferred a charming picture of a child to the wood, and then will put wall art sayings on it for a custom creation. She is also making furniture out of wooden crates, and will feature tables, bookcases and nightstands.
Other items in the “smorgasbord” include gorgeous drapes, lamps, rugs, and paintings. “You could furnish a whole house here,” said Donna. There are candles, recently published magazines at deeply discounted prices, and a custom made light fixture that has “really cool re-purposing” figuratively written all over it. Adam took a wooden pallet and attached holders for clay pots that can be used for a fresh herb garden.
The wall of one booth is comprised of real bamboo that is about 10 feet tall. The varied colors will make a lovely backdrop for all that will be displayed there. This booth will be called Cambridge and will feature items as unique as is the backdrop. Garnet also considers the store to be a gift shop, and loves to help people find just the right one at a wonderfully affordable price. Another way that Garnet describes the store, for those of you who spend time on the computer, is a “Pinterest store.” That is an apt description!
In closing, Garnet had this to say about what her goals are for the store: “Every booth is diverse in style and offerings. I have prayed that God would give me something I could enjoy as well as create a thriving business. I wanted to open a place that would provide a varied shopping experience. My hopes are that my customers will be able to not only discover a multitude of ‘treasures,’ but also a friendly old town store atmosphere. I am trying to create booths that replicate mini shops so that each vendor can offer a creative variety of EVERYTHING-new items, antiques, paintings, new and lovingly used children’s and ladies’ clothing, custom made jewelry and vintage items of every sort. What Garnet’s offers will change as my booth vendors create or find items to add to ‘their store.’” Come on March 1st for the grand opening and see what all this hard work, creativity and love are about.
Garnet’s On The Square-A Gem Of A Store
116 N. Jefferson Athens, AL 35611
Hours: Mon-Fri 10 am to 5pm
Facebook: Garnet’s On The Square
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner