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By ANNETTE HARVISON
Lots of area residents are skilled artisans and crafters, making a variety of items from clothing to repurposed furniture and even canned goods and spices. While many of these crafters have used internet markets to sell there wares, many of them still long for the ability to set up a display of their goods for the public to see and touch. And lately, there seems to be a drive for locally sourced and produced products.
One local crafter has been instrumental in bringing these artisans and crafters together under one roof and in the public spotlight. Richton resident Kasey Brewer said the idea for The Restored Magnolia came to her more than a year ago, and while it may have taken a while for everything to fall into place, she said it all came at the right time. She is a crafter herself, doing light restoration to furniture.
“I paint furniture,” Brewer said. “That’s my deal. I do minor restoration and paint.”
“I can fix a drawer or fill in a hole, but I’m not a complete furniture restorer.”
Brewer wanted to do something not only for herself but also for others in the area as well. The Restored Magnolia is a shop in Richton where local crafters and artisans can
display and sell their items. Brewer said even though she drove by the empty building next to the hardware store and the bank frequently, she didn’t see notice the possibilities it held. Then one day last summer as she drove past, she knew she had to call about it.
“I thought, why not open a store and do something for my benefit and for the benefit of other crafters in the area,” Brewer said. “I can provide an outlet for these people. I have vendors and consignors.”
Although Brewer knew where she wanted to open the shop, there were many details involved. She called the owners of the building last June to discuss the price of the building, and while it didn’t work out at that time, Brewer said she didn’t give up hope. A while later, Brewer said she contacted the owners again to find out someone else was also interested in the building, and there would be a 30-day wait on the outcome. Even with a few discouraging thoughts, she didn’t give up hope. After the time had passed, Brewer learned the sale didn’t go as planned, leaving the building available still.
“I told my husband I had a positive feeling about this,” she said. “I got the building in March. We did a few renovations, and here we are.”
“It was the Lord’s doings.”
Brewer held an opening meeting with vendors and consignors to discuss the game plan, opening days, working days, spaces and all the other things that go along with having a storefront. Brewer said they had one question for her before they got started.
“They asked me what I wanted,” Brewer said. “I told them I wanted to give others the opportunity to showcase their work. We need more here. I wanted to bring something to Richton.”
Brewer, along with her vendors and consignors, have stocked the shop with boutique clothes, repurposed items, spices, personalized gifts, canned goods and furniture, with the goal of offering a variety of goods under one roof and keeping prices reasonable in their small town. Brewer takes in furniture pieces to refinish for customers and takes in pieces to be refinished then sold. Most vendors are local, Brewer said, though there are a few from surrounding communities.
“We’ve been here going on two months,” Brewer said. “It’s starting to catch on. We’re excited, and we’re growing.”
There have been several little groups passing through the shop, Brewer said, some stopping in while traveling from Mobile, Ala. Brewer said she has several things planned for the upcoming months, and will be part of the Front Street Association activities. There will also be outdoor sales such as yard sales and antique sales from time to time.
“August 10th through the 12th, Faye Inman will be here with a Chalk Couture painting class,” Brewer said. “On August 18th, I will have a paint party where we will paint a fall door hanger. It will be from 6-8 that evening.”
“Church groups can come. Small or large groups.”
Brewer said she is excited to bring something new to Richton and to work with so many talented people from the area. Foot traffic has been picking up and she hopes to see it keep growing.
“I’m here in town,” Brewer said. “We are going to jazz things up for Richton.”
“When you go pick up the kids from school and have a few minutes, come plunder. You might come out with a bag full or you might come out with nothing, but you will be glad you came.”
Brewer is a Texas native who has lived in Richton for 25 years. She and her husband of 24 years, David, have two sons and one daughter.
For more information on The Restored Magnolia, located at 801 Front Street in Richton, stop in Tuesday-Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. or on Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. You can reach Kasey Brewer at (601)689-0072.