Angela Drake, 52, and Tereasa Nowlin, 61, have always had a knack for decorating. Friends for over 23 years, they both have a long history of planning events, setting up their churches for the holidays, and crafting together.
And when they figured they weren't getting any younger, they decided to open Magnolia Treasures, a part consignment shop, part vendor flea market, part venue in LaFayette.
"Both of us just came to a point that if we were going to go for it, we needed to go ahead and follow our dreams," Drake said.
She lives in Ringgold and Nowlin lives in Chickamauga, but they chose LaFayette for its history; plus, the grand farmhouse-style building was perfect with its various rooms. A lot of work has gone into the house, said Drake. They replaced the floors and plumbing, and added crown molding to transform it into something new.
"We have worked ourselves to death getting this place up," she said.
Guests are immediately greeted by evidence of the pair's handiwork, and that creativity seems to run in the family. The wraparound porch features decorations that Drake and Nowlin have created, and there's an autumn wreath, bicycle and sign designed by Drake's son.
Through the front door, customers first encounter the consignment part of the establishment, featuring new and gently used clothes, jewelry and shoes. Paintings, glasswork, porcelain dolls and seasonal home decor line the rest of the rooms, brought in by vendors from across the Tennessee Valley and North Georgia. Vendors can rent out space at Magnolia Treasures for $40-$50 depending on the size. One of those vendors is R.W. "Doc" Grim, who previously operated a chiropractor business out of the same house. He now sells turtle-shaped footstools and other carpentry there.
Drake said vendors keep the money they make. Consignors are charged 10% of each sale price.
Then, there's the room they're most proud of: the Paris room. Painted a magnolia pink, the room is decorated with Eiffel tower statues, paintings and Parisian-themed crafts geared toward birthday parties, bridal showers or meetings. Drake said they wanted to offer a venue for girls to have birthday parties that wasn't the local roller rink.
Drake, a former teacher, said she still wanted to work with children, so she's particularly excited to host birthday parties for young girls. They have created different crafting games and packages for the perfect day of activities, she added.
By this spring, they hope to open a gazebo between two large pecan trees in the back of the shop and begin hosting weddings.
"We're not trying to compete with all the barns in the area," said Drake. "A lot of people can't afford those, and so we want to have something that's affordable."
Magnolia Treasures is at 815 N. Main St. and can be reached at 706-638-2233. Visit magnolia-treasures.business.site for more.
Email Sabrina Bodon at email@example.com.