Sweet South Cottage
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Sweet South Cottage is open for business!

Sweet South Cottage is open for business!

Sweet South Cottage is the culmination of years of dreaming of a place where I could express my personal style and give others the vision to create their own. It was secret dream that I harbored and always said someday…. Someday when the kids are moved out, someday when I retire, someday when we aren’t so busy. Well four months ago, someday came.

My husband and I live on 25 acres in Tallahassee, Florida. We live in a very special house. It is a Queen Anne Victorian that was built 18 years ago. The historical architectural details are so accurate that no one is ever really sure, if it is a house built in the Victorian era or if it is a modern reproduction. All the credit goes to the couple that built the house Kyle and Gretchen Fleming along with Gretchen’s dad Don Branstetter, who was the builder.

Our Beautiful Painted Lady

Our Home

On the front of our property sits a very sweet little guest house. We aren’t really sure the year the house was built. We have heard estimates from locals that say anywhere from the late 1930’s to the late 1950’s. (Research of county records to follow) During the 8 years we have owned the guest cottage, we have had a series of wonderful renters. The last of those renters informed us they were moving out in June, 2011.

In spite of the fact, that my husband and I own three other businesses, I took a deep breath and said “What would you think honey, baby, sweetie pie, if I opened up a little bitty weekend vintage store with painted furniture and home decor and such with my sister?  Next I said “You won’t have to do a thing, my sister and I will do all the work”! Well after 4 months of Saturdays, gallons of paint, paid labor, and many, many late nights the dream has become a reality. And of course my wonderful husband Jeff has put in hundreds of hours on the project with us.

 Sweet South Cottage

Sweet South Cottage

The vision for Sweet South Cottage has evolved during the past four months. All the ideas and passion for the project had been incubating for years but turning those dreams into reality is another kettle of fish altogether. The mission to is to deliver high quality heirloom products that are reflective of the very special things about the Southern United States. We carry painted furniture; home decor items; bedding; table linens; vintage-inspired clothing; and vintage finds. I know that the vision will continue to evolve in the coming months and years.

Along the journey, I discovered a very special product line – Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and Waxes. Our furniture is painted almost exclusively with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. This is the most incredible paint to ever be developed for painting furniture. It transforms the home hobbyist into a professional just by the qualities that it possesses. It sticks to anything (wood, laminate, metal, plastic, press board). It distresses beautifully. It is VERY quick drying. There is no sanding, priming with other products or prepping before you begin painting, thereby saving you hours in the process of furniture painting. It is so versatile and while the traditional palette has 28 colors, the true color options are numerous when you begin mixing colors. We are proud to be carrying the Annie Sloan Product Line. We are a primary retailer and our territory stretches from East of Panama City over to Jacksonville and South to Levy, Alachua and Flagler Counties.   In November. 2011 we will begin workshops to teach others how to make the most of using this amazing paint. To find an Annie Sloan retailer near you, visit www.anniesloanunfolded.com

Painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Beautiful Upcycled Sideboard with the help of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

On October 15th, 2011 we had our official Grand Opening! It was exciting and many old and new friends stopped by to wish us well and to buy a few things. We are open on Friday and Saturdays from 10 am to 6 pm and Tuesday through Thursday by appointment. So that is how we are beginning. I hope to blog about many things along the way. Thanks for visiting!

Lisa Ard

2 Responses to Sweet South Cottage is open for business!

  1. Marcia says:

    I am crying right now! All of your life you have been a dreamer. I remember when we were teenagers laying on my bed….dreaming about what you were going to do when you grew up. Well, you have accomplished quite a few of those dreams including Sweet South Cottage! I cannot wait to go visit your precious store when I come into town. I am SO proud of you!

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