The “suddenlies” of life can be both daunting and fun, and Pam Hertenstein, owner of Kindred Spirits, as well as Sandra Marks, owner of Simply Yesterday are experiencing both as they are in the midst of moving and merging their businesses to the former location of Li’l Britches, located at the corner of Clinton and Market in downtown Athens.
They have the help of several friends and family members, who are working diligently to get the 3,000 square foot Craftsman style home ready for a combination Grand Opening and Christmas Open House to be held on Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd.
The idea of changing locales and pooling their resources came about quickly and recently, and things just fell into place. The house is perfect for beautifully displaying their wares, is located just off the Square, and has plenty of room for other vendors, should they choose to join them.
For those who may not be familiar with these gals or their businesses, here are some brief descriptions of who they are and what they have to offer as the respective owners of Kindred Spirits and Simply Yesterday.
Pam grew up in Memphis, pursued her corporate career in New York, and then her brother was diagnosed with cancer. She and her husband came to Athens initially to care for her brother, and in the process have become active in Friendship Methodist Church’s “Empty Bowls” hunger project, and opened a marvelous gift shop called Kindred Spirits, centered around the concept of “repurposing.”
Around 30 local artists with the “passion to repurpose” make up the lion’s share of Pam’s vendor base, and their work is absolutely beautiful. There’s a banker who takes old single paned windows, attaches them to three sided wooden backs with reproduction hardware, and voila, you have a smart bathroom cabinet. There are old advertisement posters that are decoupaged to weathered wood, and are transformed into cabinets or wall hangings. You can commission a piece of calligraphy that can capture a hallmark event, a scripture, or a memorable saying.
Kindred Spirits carries antique furniture, handmade jewelry and quilts, gorgeous handmade scarves with matching earrings, old books, soaps, paintings, photographs, giftware that can be personalized, items for the yard, planters, and Christmas decorations.
In the last year, Pam has had great success adding homemade beauty products, and I am a huge fan of the moisture lotion. There are also “massage candles,” which are designed to double both as a candle, and whose warm wax can be used as part of a massage therapy session. Now that’s repurposing!
2011 was a banner year for Sandra Marks, wife of Mayor Ronnie Marks. After having always been interested in collecting and selling memorabilia, as well as vending at other owner’s stores, she opened her own shop, called Simply Yesterday Antiques And More. “My mom got me started,” Sandra said, “and she loved to collect glassware.” Sandra and 3 other vendors have an ample supply of everything from Noritake china to vintage presidential campaign buttons. Sandra wanted to start a business that her kids or grandkids might be interested in. She is interested in crafts, and thought of starting a craft store. She settled on selling collectibles, vintages and antiques.
Sandra says, “I’ve always loved junkin’.” Junk, however, is NOT what you’ll find at Simply Yesterday. There will be books set up in a cozy reading nook, a “sign wall” with every type of Coca-Cola sign imaginable, display cases of Depression glass and milk glass, a gorgeous vintage wedding dress from the ’50s, antique furniture, American Fostoria glassware, practical items, art, and some great framed pictures of Beaver Cleaver’s family and Shirley Temple.
Pam and Sandra are members of Friendship Methodist Church, and between them they are quite involved with their families as well as several church outreaches. These include feeding the hungry through Empty Bowls and at the Quad Plex, and making quilts for cancer patients.
One of the things about which they are excited is going to be a once a month “spotlight” on a local artisan. The artist will be at the shop, exhibiting their artwork, and possibly demonstrating their skills by creating an “object d’art” in front of customers.
As for the Grand Open House, there will be food, a demo by Belle Chevre, (the goat cheese folks who are taking the world by storm,) rooms full of charming items for sale, holiday music, and the chance to welcome two dear women to their new business digs in what will surely prove to be a blessing for our fair berg. See you there!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner