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Featured Retailer-The Market on Washington

Our retailers are THE best! We are so thankful for all of them-they choose to put our products in their shops and nothing makes us happier than to support our retail partners. Today we wanted to feature one of our newest retailers, The Market on Washington, in Clarkesville, GA. Here’s our Q & A with the owner, Jen Harkness.

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

MW: My favorite part of having my own store is having a place where I can truly be myself. I love not knowing what the day holds. I love having the freedom to create something new and exciting and express myself through our displays. I will never take for granted the feeling of waking up and actually be excited to get to work and create something that makes people smile. I have worked corporate jobs where I sat at a desk all day and could only dream about being where I am now, which makes me especially enjoy each little moment here, even if it’s as simple as bringing my puppy with me to the shop every day.

CB: Who/what inspires you daily?

MW: Inspiration is everywhere, you just have to look! For me, it’s anything such as traveling, reading, taking a walk or simply browsing the internet. I have so many folders saved on my phone of color palettes I’m currently liking, textures I love, materials I would like to use and even notes of how I felt when I was at a particular place and how I can re-create that feeling for my customers. I recently went on a trip to Paris so I am especially into all things French right now, haha! My customers are also a big inspiration to me, though they may not even realize it. It makes my heart skip when they walk in and gasp over something new that we have created or when they comment on our new products and say what a wonderful job we are doing. Moments like that inspire me to work harder each season and to continue thinking outside the box for ways to surprise our regulars and new-comers with what we have in store for them!

CB: What is one trend (genre/product) you predict will be big in 2019?

MW: I think two trends: Clean Beauty and bold patterns!

I think that people are becoming more aware and conscious of not only what they are putting in their bodies, but also what they are putting on their skin. Our Beauty Bar is filled with lines that are all natural, clean and cruelty-free. We started small, but after noticing how often our customers were coming in to try new products, we have now expanded and offer lines such as Little Seed Farm, French Girl Organics, RMS Beauty, Lola Jane Naturals and more! I knew Clean Beauty was something I was interested in, but after seeing the products on our Beauty Bar become some of the best sellers in our entire shop I know it’s something others are interested in, too!

I have also noticed our customers gravitating towards bold patterns and fun colors lately. I think everything has been so neutral and filled with greys and whites in the last few years and now people are wanting to add some pops of color (which is great for me, as I am basically a human pinata and always adding color!) One of the reasons I was drawn to your brand is your use of color and patterns. After seeing the positive response from our customers over your accessories, I am even more excited for your collaboration with Toss Designs and the Bamboo Navy pajamas and cosmetic bags. I know they are going to be a hit!

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

MW: Gift giving is my love language but I don’t know that I have one go-to gift. Instead, I pay attention to the people I care about and what they love and I try to giving something special and unique. I think you can feel that when you’re in my shop-there is literally something for every woman. When I buy products, I try to think of gifts and items that would suit different personalities. There are definitely products that are completely me, but then there is also a glimpse of my younger sister, my best friend, my mama and the other women dear to me. I think as long as you put a lot of thought into a gift you can’t go wrong.

CB: How did you get in the gift/retail industry?

MW: I have always loved working retail. I worked a 9-5 corporate job for a few years and needed a more fun, relaxed environment so I would also work part-time retail jobs during the holidays for fun. I knew I wanted my own store someday so finally when I was in a position to leave my desk job, I started working at a small home decor shop in my hometown so that I could learn the ins and outs of running a small business. After a year of working there, my friend and the owner of the shop said that she was closing the Clarkesville location to focus on her other store in Atlanta and her new baby. I have always tried to live by the “If not now, when? If not me, who?” mantra and I knew I didn’t want the opportunity to pass by. So, I went home that night, prayed about it and discussed it with my family. The next morning, I knew I was ready and so I leaped. It has been so worth it every day since.

CB: Outside of your store, what do you like to do for fun with your time?

MW: Well, I just got a new puppy, Winston, a wire fox terrier that is so cute and so full of mischief so he is pretty time consuming right now, haha! Other than him, I love to travel and have some pretty fun trips lined up for this year.

CB: Your inbox…0 or 9,999?

MW: Oh gosh! I can’t stand a full inbox so I clean mine out daily! I separate everything into folders and the only ones left in my inbox are things I need to follow up with that week.

We love our retailers and seeing their shops. Be sure to follow @themarketonwashington on Instagram to see the newest arrivals and more of this adorable shop. If you are in Clarkesville, GA, be sure to stop in and say hello!

The Market on Washington
1358 Washington St
Clarkesville, GA 30523
(706) 760-5003

In Entrepreneur/ Featured Retailer/ Gifts

Small Business Saturday-Local Retailer

Small Business Saturday is a big day in the world of retail. After you’ve made it through Black Friday online and in stores, make sure you rest a bit and get back out to your local small business stores and buy from them! We are one of the little guys and want to support other small businesses. With the recent launch of our new gift line-available for retailers-we wanted to feature one of our newest local retailers, Laurel & May Market located in Milton, Georgia. This cute bakeshop and gift boutique is the perfect backdrop for coffee with friends (or business meetings), a place to browse the carefully curated gifts and enjoy a treat! We have found ourselves there when needing a break from the studio. Today, we are so happy to feature a local spot-and the ladies behind it all, Jenn and Gretchen. We hope you are inspired to head to your local your mom-and-pop shops and support your local economy this holiday season…Shop Small Saturday!

A little business…

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

L&MM: We love being able to put everything together. Everything we buy and make is carefully selected and then thoughtfully merchandised to create the feeling we have in the market.

CB: Who or what inspires you daily?

L&MM: Just being in our space with our friendly customers and our great staff is inspiring. It’s always nice to catch up with people or to see people’s reactions the first time they come into the space-it really means a lot to us.

CB: What is one trend you predict will be big in the new year?

L&MM: In our shop, trending items are the more unique items you can’t find just anywhere. We are really hoping to have your new gift line take off, along with a few companies that are really doing awesome things in their space like Ladyfingers Letterpress, The Blackberry Patch and Olivina to name a few.

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

L&MM: That is a tough question, gift giving is so personal and we think it’s more about the thought and care you put into the gift than the item itself. We do lean towards warm, cozy gifts like bath fizzies, lotions, candles, etc. Life is stressful so these are always welcome gift ideas to help decompress at the end of the day.

CB: How did you get in the gift/retail industry?

L&MM: Our love of shopping! Gretchen handles the baking side of our shop along with buying the gourmet foods and cheeses while I handle most of the gift items buying and all the stationery items. We both love the space we are in, she loves the kitchen and everything baking, and I love paper, printing and all things creative.

CB: What are some things on your holiday bucket list?

L&MM: We have been going strong all year getting our market up and running so we both would love a little bit of down-time where we can just unwind, spend time with family and friends and enjoy the holiday season. We are incredibly grateful for everything we have done this year and want to start 2019 stronger than ever!

CB: Always a source of laughs at our studio…your inbox-0 or 9,999?

L&MM: We try to keep it clean, but it’s closer to 1,999:)

Happy Shop Small Saturday!

In Decor/ Design/ Entrepreneur/ Featured Artist/ Featured Retailer/ Uncategorized

Meet the Entrepreneur/Artist Series-Shelly Kennedy

Today we are featuring Shelly Kennedy, artist and shop owner. Shelly Kennedy is a published stylist, decorator, and artist. Starting in 1997, Shelly grew Drooz studio {} as a wholesale art business for 10 years- selling decorative accessories to stores, designers, mommies and Hollywood celebrities all over the world. Her custom decor has accented the homes of celebrities such as Rachel Ashwell, P.Diddy, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Dylan McDermott, Courtney Love, Kate Hudson, Johnny Depp and John O’Hurley. She now works from her studio – painting, designing, and crafting… focusing on licensing and creating original and custom work. Her exclusive designs have been sold thru wonderful retail partners such as Garnet Hill, Layla Grayce, & Land of Nod. Her work has been seen on the set of television shows as NBC’s FRIENDS, Modern Family, and Extreme Home Makeover. Along with creating traditional wall art, her designs have adorned such items as rugs, piggy banks, nite lights, dish sets, birthday hats, necklaces, growth charts, pillow and placemats. Her designs have been seen on the pages of People Magazine, Country Living, InStyle, Better Homes & Garden, Coastal Living, Rachel Ashwell’s “Shabby Chic” as well as many other magazines and decor books. With a love for beautiful spaces and entertaining her homes & studios have been featured by This Old House, Design Sponge, Where Women Create, Where Women Cook, Mary Englebreit’s Home Companion. She lives in her hometown of Skaneateles, New York with her husband, 2 teenage children, and her French Bulldog puppy, Lewis. A self-professed chronic nester, she can often be found renovating her 1896 farmhouse, mixing colors & mixing cocktails, and spending way too much time on social media. Over the years, Shelly has worn the many hats of RETAIL. At the age of 16, she landed her first job as a “shop girl” at a florist/giftshop in her hometown. After catching the retail “bug” she also worked as a Sales Rep for a giftware group in the Midwest, a Merchandiser & Display artist, as well as a Buyer for a chain of gift stores in Chicago. She then managed her own wholesale art and giftware company for over ten years.

From Kathy

I first met Shelly at a branding/gifting event in New York around 2005. At that time, Clairebella was a juvenile products line and baby products were the focus of the event. I was a huge fan of Shelly’s work and was really excited to get to meet her in person. Shelly was very gracious and we have kept in touch a bit throughout the years. It has been fun, following her on Instagram as she opened her brick & mortar gift store.

Q & A

CB: How did you get into the industry?

SK: I’ve been in the giftware industry for over 20 years! My first job out of college was for a rep group in Chicago at the Merchandise Mart. I had the entire Chicago and North Shore market. It’s then that I got the bug big TIME for consumer goods, creative gifts and decorative accessories.

CB: Is there any part of your work that has been especially meaningful to you or you are most proud?

SK: Currently at the shop I am very proud of my line of greeting cards-I love hearing the customers laugh out loud as they browse the card wall (most of the cards are pretty sassy and mildly inappropriate!) I try to fill a void in the “normal ” greeting card market-congrats on getting your drivers license, braces off and getting rid of that shitty boyfriend. Sympathies for the loss of your wisdom teeth, cat, and bad habits. It makes my day when a customer says “OMGosh-this is PERFECT! I NEED to get this for…”

CB: Regarding your art, how did you develop your unique style and how would you describe it?

SK: I originally developed art for babies and nurseries. Bold, bright, crisp lines, saturated colors-classic images with modern twists that look and feel carried through when I branched into teen art, home decor and gifts

CB: Is there any advice you have for people looking to make a living with their art?

SK: 1. Create daily. Sketch.  Keep notes, document your ideas well (I have journals over 20 years old filled that I still flip through from time to time) 2. Document finished work well. So much of the work of an artist is sold and given away-keep good records of everything! Makes sure you are building your portfolio along the way-invest in good photography 3. Research! Research! If you are looking to get into licensing-find companies you like-do they design in-house? Or license out? Who do they work with? Do you like the quality of their goods? Do they seem to promote /support their artists?

CB: What is your favorite part of having your store?

SK: It’s my HAPPY place. And I think (I KNOW) it’s becoming the happy place for others…(last year a very good customer was browsing in the shop. She looked a bit “down”-she explained that her best and longest friend had just passed and that she consciously drove to DROOZ because she knew just being there would make her feel better)

CB: What or who inspires you in your daily work?

SK: Just trying to stay FRESH and ahead of trends! It motivates me to always be thinking of my next idea, finding the next big thing-no time to rest!

CB: When did you notice that you had an eye and natural talent for this field?

SK: Always. I’ve always loved it! Even as a little girl playing with Barbies I have more fun creating bedding, artwork and lamp shades for my Barbie dolls (vs their clothes)I love color, design, interior design-all of that has played heavily into the development of my brand. Seeing my art and designs as components of an entire room or special event. The look of my art flows through into my own home, decor and shop selections. Bright, bold, fun, not too serious. Sassy. New and vintage, classic and vintage.

CB: How does your background as an artist influence the items you pick for your store?

SK: I’ve always been drawn to the small mom and pop companies-brands developed and grown by the owner; with their creative drive, blood, sweat and tears! I like supporting the little guys. I’m a little guy 🙂 Examples: Hester and Cook; Pure Home Apothecary; Curly Girl Designs; Clairebella. For my shop, I try to find unique, small batch, handmade items. I like trendy, current and relevant-but I try really hard to find things that aren’t commonly found in our area. I like pretty and practical-form and function!

CB: What is your favorite gift to give?

SK: I think a gift should be something you wouldn’t consider buying yourself-a true luxury item! A facial, a massage, a bottle of reallllly good Tequila or a box of super decadent dark chocolates

CB: What is a favorite book you have read recently?

SK: Latest: Profit First by Mike Michalowicz; Old Favorite that I’m always flipping through “12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women” by Gail McMeekin. Great stories and motivation and lots of little inspirational quotes through the book on the sidelines.

CB: Your inbox…9,999 or 0?

SK: 9999! omg.

at the store…

additional creations…

in her home…

Find more of Shelly and DROOZ follow them @DROOZANDCOMPANY.

In Featured Retailer


Tell us a little about how Carolina Clover got started.

Carolina Clover was inspired by the search for unique jewelry and gifts that were loved and coveted by southern women and not easily found everywhere. We started out selling unique and personalized jewelry and gifts at home parties and market fairs and as our product offering expanded so did our stores. Now with a retail store and a web store, we are more accessible for  every occasion of personalized gift giving.

What are a few of your favorite Carolina Clover gifts to give this holiday season?

I love the idea of ordering a personalized serving platter for every family on your list, or a personalized travel mug or personalized note cube for all your girlfriends or teachers on your list. They are personal, thoughtful and with Clairebella’s vibrant and trendy designs each one is unique with the convenience of one stop shopping at!

What are five essential items you can always find in your bag?

iPhone, Lipstick, business cards, vitamin water and a debit card. Good luck finding anything else…like keys, cash or drivers license. Those are always MIA.

What is you favorite holiday tradition to share with your family?

My girls and I look forward to using leftover halloween candy for building and decorating a gingerbread cookie house.

 Like Carolina Clover on Facebook & Check all their gifts out at!

52 In Featured Retailer


Tell us a little bit about Toss Designs.

Toss Designs was created in 2004. We are a San Francisco Bay Area-based design house with a love for fresh, preppy patterns and effortlessly chic totes, travel bags and accessories. Our products are fun and functional for girls on the go! We have seven Toss boutiques in Northern California that are a beautiful blend of our Toss collection and other select items that reflect our passion for style, gracious gift-giving and the unexpected elements that make life a little better!

Clairebella loves all your fresh, graphic patterns, where do find inspiration for new patterns?

Everywhere! I’m constantly inspired by interiors, clothing, and nature and sometimes in the most unexpected places. People and style icons are another great source of inspiration.

What is your favorite Toss product?

It changes all the time, but right now I adore the Car Bag in our Classic Canvas Collection! It has a hard-frame top opening and pockets for organizing travel essentials inside. I love the heavyweight Black canvas and think it’s perfect with a classic style monogram embroidered in White. 

What are the five essential items you can find in your Toss bag?

  • White iPhone with my personalized Clairebella case!
  • Toss Flat Zip pouches that hold everything from cosmetics to cameras.
  • Black Chanel sunglasses.
  • Toss Monaco Clutch Wallet in Apple Green. It holds all my boarding passes, change, credit cards and passport.
  • Tear sheets from magazines – I pick them up everywhere!

Win a Personalized Phone Case by Clairebella and a Chatham Mini Grab Bag by Toss Designs. To enter, leave a comment on our blog and LIKE both Clairebella and Toss Designs on Facebook now through Sunday, November 11th at midnight. A winner will be drawn at random on Monday, November 12th.