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.
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.
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.
Jose Santisteban?s artistic path has been paved with glass. He began working with it as an artistic medium in 1999 and, after earning his master of fine arts in glass sculpture in New York, chased his passion to locales around the country and globe.
Today, Jose shares his love of this ancient art at Franklin Glassblowing Studio. During lessons that focus on the basic skills of glass blowing, he demonstrates how the material can be used for more than just windows and temporary houses. Students then put theory into practice, flexing their creative muscles to create personalized keepsakes from scratch. When not hosting classes, Jose and others at the studio design their own glassy pieces, including lighting and home decor.
Harpeth Bicycles owner Jonathan Woody’s philosophy about bikes can be boiled down to one simple idea: “put more people on bikes and the world will be a better place.” His staff of mechanics and cycling enthusiasts works toward that goal by selling bikes from brands such as Giant Bicycles, Electra Bikes, and Seven Cycles and performing tune-ups and repairs. Once patrons catch the cycling bug inside the empty pickle jar that is their soul, they can join in social activities planned by the shop such as group rides and spinning classes.