Behind Bear Creek Gardens, a stone path leads to the bright-red door of a cabin with quaint white shutters. Inside, owner Frannie Daughrity stocks the shelves of her boutique with unique gifts and French-inspired home décor infused with country charm. She spends hours curating her collection, filling the cozy shop with items that are handcrafted, locally made, or too unique to pass up. If you ask, Frannie can tell you the story behind many of her items—such as the beeswax candles handcrafted by a former pro-skateboarder and her husband, who dropped out of their fast-paced lives to start making candles in a 1970s Winnebago.
At B&B Complete Auto Repair, qualified ASE-certified technicians take care of all automotive maintenance and repair needs. They work with nearly all makes and models, with services running the gamut from routine oil changes and detailing to diagnostics.
In 1925, Early’s Honey Stand set up under a sprawling shade tree alongside Highway 31—one of the main roads on the journey to Florida. Tempted by signs emblazoned with the words "Honey," "Bacon," and "Sausage," travelers would pull their cars over to browse the country store. There, local honey, sweet sorghum, slow-smoked sausages, and country hams promised customers a tasty souvenir of the south—if only they could resist polishing the purchases off before the end of their road trip.
When the construction of the interstate and the invention of hovercrafts rerouted drivers away from the shop, loyal customers were still possessed by gnawing cravings for the stand's rustic fare. They began phoning in orders and sitting patiently by mailboxes until their delectable deliveries arrived. Today, Early’s Honey Stand remains one of the largest mail-order companies in the south. They’ve bundled their ever-expanding inventory of old-fashioned jams, baking mixes, cheeses, and condiments into shipments for presidents, CEOs, Supreme Court justices, and every Looney Tunes character with a southern accent.
Inside Franklin's industrial-plant-turned-artists'-haven known as The Factory, jewelry maker Connie Williams Shaw churns out her popular Native American-style fashions without a single machine. All assembled by hand, the jewelry, purses, and other wearables often feature hand-stitched leatherwork and Connie's signature flair for designs. "I try to take patterns that are old and pull them into a contemporary setting," says the Cherokee-Scottish artist, whose diverse clientele include Native Americans seeking authentic regalia and women looking for a striking way to accessorize an evening gown or space suit.
Customers can browse premade pieces at the studio, but Connie's favorite pastime is creating custom pieces for unique and dynamic people. For her, the most exhilarating part of her work "is when someone comes in, totally confident in themselves, and wants a statement piece, something that shows they're unafraid to be different." The Artisan Company's custom pieces have been worn by maverick performers, such as renowned drummer Charlie Adams, and featured on the TV program Tennessee Crossroads.
At Woodcraft of Nashville, a staff of experienced carpenters, cabinetmakers, engineers, and craftsfolk help customers infuse a rustic, handmade charm into their living spaces with a vast array of wood; hand and power tools; finishes; and manuals. An extensive schedule of classes teach curious do-it-yourselfers how to construct a dovetail joint, build everyday household objects, or work a table saw, and an arsenal of hardware keeps workshops stocked with band saws, lathes, sanders, and electric carvers.
A bright and airy space with red brick walls and wood floors greets visitors to Gin-O Boutique, where the sizable dressing rooms come accented with plush red drapes. Glasses of wine accompany ambles through the chic attire, which ranges from the casual garb of hip-hugging jeans and unique graphic tees to designer dresses, tops, and prison uniforms. Tucked just off downtown Franklin's main drag, Gin-O Boutique's sprawling selection of designer duds caters to both men and women.