As a former Tiger himself, gift-shop owner Jeremy Stinson takes his school spirit seriously. A proud alumni of the University of Memphis, Jeremy stocks his sprawling, brick-walled store with the world’s largest selection of Tigers apparel and memorabilia, with more than 500 items encompassing everything from men’s, women’s, and children’s apparel to collectibles such as posters, foam hands, and posters of foam hands. Staffers will gladly chat about the team’s past, present, and future and cheer along with customers during screenings of SportsCenter or the latest Tigers game in their onsite Tiger Den.
Since it first started up its printing presses in 1976, Memphis Magazine has raked in awards for its coverage of culture, food, and entertainment around the Bluff City. The City and Regional Magazine Association, for example, recently awarded the publication a Gold Medal in the General Excellence category in 2007, 2008, and 2010. More than 60,000 readers open its pages each month to peruse the style section, home-and-garden articles, and guides that highlight local festivals and other events. Locally owned, the magazine prides itself on the quality and independence of its coverage.
The staffers at Yarniverse understand that it often takes more than yarn and needles to see a knitting project through to the end. With this in mind, they man a round table inside the two-story shop where they help clients master tricky patterns, inspire them to try new techniques, and fuel knitting sprees with friendly conversation until each wooly endeavor is complete. Before starting new projects, clients stock up on yarns and knitting tools or refresh their skills in a class that covers how to make socks, dog sweaters, or vintage scarves.
Successful carriage maker Amos Woodruff began construction on his Memphis home in 1870, designing the property in French Victorian style with a mansard roof and cypress woodwork and flooring. A year later, the mansion hosted the wedding of Amos's daughter, Mollie, marking the first public event and first of countless weddings to be held on the property. Cotton factor Noland Fontaine owned the dwelling after Amos; following the death of Noland and his wife, the home became an art school and then a vacant building until the Association for the Preservation of Tennessee Antiquities acquired the space in 1961.
Nestled among magnolia trees, the restored mansion still shelters handwritten autographs and memories of the craftsmen who helped erect the building. Just as it did for Mollie Woodruff, the property also continues to host weddings and special events with a front lawn that accommodates up to 250 visitors. A collection of more than 1,000 pieces of Victorian-era fashion, such as wedding gowns, undergarments, overgarments, and stiletto horseshoes, can be found in the home. The clothing display changes several times throughout the year along with the museum's rotating exhibitions.
Sharri Schmidt's foray into the world of art has been anything but typical. After a life-changing auto accident, the woman whose background was in science and sales and who lived a left-brained person's existence suddenly became very visual and right brained. Still, she maintains a curiosity about how stuff works and is very knowledgeable about what tools and supplies her customers at Sharri's Discount Art Supplies might need to complete an art project or beautify their dog. When she's not helping customers find art supplies or rescuing wild critters—some of which find their way to a store, including two kittens—Sharri is teaching painting and pottery classes.
When she began knitting at age 12, Henrietta “Hank” Davis kindled a lifelong passion; as the owner of Hank of Yarn, the only yarn shop in north Mississippi, Davis now shares her hobby with the local community. Her seminar-size classes, which range from novice to expert techniques, cover topics such as crocheting, knitting, and dyeing. Handicraft lovers can mingle in the shop’s cozy seating area, where knit-alongs and parties sometimes feature surprise extras such as professional massages, eyebrow waxes, or group appearances by the cast of Airwolf. For inspiration, patrons can browse the shop’s comprehensive selection of needles and inspect yarns that range from baby-friendly varieties to luxurious strands of cashmere.