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FARRAGUT (WATE) - A Farragut business hosts a seemingly endless supply of Tennessee-made products all under one roof.
Homespun may truly embody the spirit of buying local. It's located at 11523 Kingston Pike in the Village Green Shopping Center.
Owner Beverly Sellars was first introduced to the shop a few years ago when she was looking for something to do with her newly-found down time.
"I was an empty nester. My children had all grown and left, and I decided I needed a hobby so I started making jewelry and I started coming in here as a vendor," Sellars said.
She used to make and sell her jewelry there, but now she's the owner of the multi-booth business.
Sellars rents space to vendors, allowing budding and even advanced local artists a place to show their wares.
"It allows people who want to have their own business but who maybe who don't have the time to be at it seven days a week or six days," she explained.
There are dozens of individual shops offering everything from kid's clothes to crafts to antiques.
While most of the items are locally produced, most of the shop owners are rarely there. "We sell it for them," Sellars explained. "It gives them the opportunity to have their own business and each one of the shops is individual."
Currently, there are more than 70 vendors under one roof. It is very convenient for shoppers. It's also good for Sellars and it's especially good for all of the artisans who say they really benefit from a place like Homespun.
John Eachus and his wife, Martha, make hand-painted stained glass products. They own the Talking Turkey Studio in Gatlinburg and expanded at Homespun less than two months ago.
"Their base is percent of sales so the more of our product that sells, the better we do and they better they do. It is a very fair arrangement," Eachus said.
"To date, the financial return is very minimal," Eachus said, "but potential is very promising!"
Another vendor, Ross Leslie, knows just how promising Homespun can be. He's had his "Heart of Country" booth for more than nine years, and says he's so busy filling it that it's the only place he sells his woodworking art.
"I just put all of it right here. I could make more stuff here if I had more time because anything you make sells," Leslie said.
He lives in Blount County where he makes all his inspirational signs and furniture. Most of his timber is local, and he really enjoys being able to use reclaimed wood.
"I use a lot of reclaimed wood from barns like in my community of Wildwood, in Blount County, I tore down a barn that was like 300 year-old-trees. You can't get timber like that."
Vendors at Homespun have the option of volunteering for eight hours a month to reduce the sale's percentage retained by the store. The store gets 10 percent if you volunteer or 20 percent if you choose not to.
Leslie and others choose the volunteering option, saying it also gives them a chance to meet their customers and take custom orders.
He says it beats setting up shop at craft shows and festivals. "It takes so much time to load everything and go to shows and setting up and paying fees. You set for days and it's not a given. So that would be bad to lose Homespun. I think it really helps local economy."
Not everything in the store is from Tennessee. There are a few items from across the state line.
However, there's a huge selection of local products and Homespun is open seven days a week.
All the shop space is full right now, but some leases are as short as three months so Sellars encourages artists to check back with her often.