“I opened my store in August 2019, then COVID hit and I was dead in the water, wondering what I was going to do to keep this business alive as the world shut down,” said Sawyer, owner of Wildflowers gift shop.
A call changed all of that. “I realized I was outgrowing this place. I got a call one day that Balanced Studio was moving, so I thought I’d take a look. It was a complete leap of faith, I’ll be honest. If I’m gonna survive, this is what I have to do - just step out of the box and move to something bigger.”
Last month, October 2, she opened the doors to a beautiful space five times larger than her previous location. “We had a food truck, Bea’s Sweets, door prizes, the Humane Society with kittens, guest artist demonstrations, activities for kids and adults. The weather was perfect, and folks came out to help me cut the ribbon on this beautiful new space for Wildflowers!” Stephanie said.
Stephanie also unveiled the annual Limited Edition Signal Mountain Holiday Ornament, with $5 of the proceeds from each ornament benefiting Signal Mountain Social Services. “Yes, every year I commission an ornament made by a local artist to be sold with monies benefiting our amazing SMSS. Get them while they last because they go quickly,” Stephanie said.
Stephanie says this new larger location has given her the space to host birthday parties, arts and crafts classes, workshops and ladies nights.
“We’ve got tie-dye, tapestry, jewelry, needle felting, painting classes … you name it! And now, with the help of Mary Eliza Hendricks, the Wildflowers website is easy to navigate, as well as sign up and pay for classes.” She presently employs three people, Heather Dungan, Gwen Plauche and Mary Eliza Hendricks.
“I think it’s beautiful,” said Signal Mountain resident Kim Carter about the new location. “The art for sale is quite pretty and interesting, and I can see a lot of it in my own home. What I love about this place is that you can walk around it several times and see something new every time.”
And she’s adding more artists monthly. “The artists are my people. Just to see what people come up with is so amazing,” Stephanie said. LeeAnn Williamson, a potter from Signal Mountain, and Carmen Joyce of Chattanooga are just two of the dozens of artists whose work is on display in Wildflowers.
For more information about classes at Wildflowers, find them on Facebook or visit https://www.wildflowersonsignal.com/.
by Michelle Michaud