Got goat milk soap? Of course you don’t. That’s why folks will head over to Glenda’s Notions and Gifts, a new boutique featuring local crafts and products now open on the Buchanan square.
Since June, the store owned by Glenda and Johnny Smith at 104 Courthouse Square has been a showcase for the array of talents by local artisans and the high quality home products made in and around Haralson County.
“I feel a lot of people are under the impression we are a thrift store or a consignment shop, but it’s anything but,” said Glenda.
The goat milk soap (good for skin conditions) is made by hand by a Bremen resident who also – obviously – raises goats. Also on sale in the shop are baby blankets crocheted by area ladies, honey collected from Haralson bees, freshly made stone-ground cornmeal and grits, hand-woven baskets, and jams and jellies made by the Smiths themselves.
“This is for people who have a talent (in crafts); to give them an outlet so they can sell their products all year instead of waiting for a crafts fair,” said Glenda.
These are people whom Glenda knows well, since she grew up in the area and “knows everyone.” Not only is the store meant to provide a place for these crafts people to sell their goods, it also provides a market for area residents who want quality, hand-made home products without having to travel to large metro areas to find them.
The Smiths started the business after they closed their trucking company, which operated out of the same 500-square-foot storefront located just across from the library. The store employs one other person, with part-time help from family members. It is open Wednesdays through Friday from 10 to 6 p.m., and from 10 a.m. Saturday “until whenever.” The store is closed Sunday through Tuesday.
As the word gets out among local crafts people, the store is currently supplementing its inventory with goods from other small artisans from the area, but no supplier is from outside the United States.
“It’s completely American-made,” said Johnny.
Among those suppliers is a small wax pottery manufacturer from Cordele. The company’s products have botanical scents, which are released at room temperature or when tea candles are placed inside.
Not only does Glenda help her customers find these products, but she also brainstorms with them on how best to use them in their homes – which may involve finding new uses for them. For example, Glenda says she recognized that a box designed by a craftsman to hold photographs would also make an excellent jewelry box; and a set of wall sconces actually looked more attractive when turned upside down.
Glenda says her store specializes only in handcrafted products, and that there are no antiques or consignment items. And while the products she sells could command higher prices in bigger markets, Glenda says her goods are priced for the local economy, something the local makers understand and appreciate.
“Right now, we have a lot of things that may be one-time only, because it is the only time we can get them,” said Glenda.
Smith says she has high hopes that her store will become an important place for anyone who appreciates high-quality, hand-made goods, whether as a seller or as a buyer.