Lela's Emporium offers "a little bit of everything" for Chattanoogans who are learning to be thrifty shoppers in a tight economy.
"I think because the economy is so bad right now, it's hard to buy new things, but you can go out and buy good, clean merchandise for a fraction of the price," said Lela Nunley, owner. "Basically, Emporium means many different merchandise, and we have everything from antiques to furniture and handbags. I try to keep my prices low so people can afford to get what they need in today's economy."
Nunley said she brings in new merchandise each week, including new and used children's clothes and toys, men's ties, vases, furniture, antiques and other unique goods. One of the specialty items offered at the shop is Nunley's homemade candles. She said her soy candles provide a clean burn, leaving no black residue in the container after the candle burns out.
Nunley makes her strong-scented candles in a variety of different shapes and scents, but she said her most sought-after candles are bride and groom sets. The wedding candles are made using two wine glasses, one with a veil wrapped around the glass and the other with a miniature tuxedo. Nunley said the wedding candles are available through special order using a couple's favorite scents.
Nunley said she chose to open her business in St. Elmo across from the Incline hoping residents and tourists would find it a convenient stop for shopping.
"I've gotten to know some of the people in the area and everyone's been nice and friendly," Nunley said.