The serendipity of their paths crossing at an exact time, in an exact place and within an exact frame of mind was the catalyst for the birth of A Fern and A Feather.
A Fern and A Feather General Store is infused with a rich history of blended backgrounds. It is the culmination of the vision of two women from different generations, different experiences, and different lifestyles. The serendipity of their paths crossing at an exact time, in an exact place and within an exact frame of mind was the catalyst for the birth of A Fern and A Feather.
Melodie was raised in the fifties in Ringgold, Ga. She spent a substantial part of her early years hanging out at her grandparents variety store. Upon graduating from Georgia Southern, she followed her career path as an interior designer. She landed in her hometown and opened Kudzu Interiors in 2007. It was in Ringgold that she and her husband raised their two boys and established their home.
Babs was raised in the East Brainerd suburb of Chattanooga, TN. She graduated from Ooltewah High School in 1999 and worked in a plethora of fields throughout her early years. She was pursuing a degree in Early Childhood when she discovered a passion for retail and small business. She subsequently opened five candy stores in Tennessee and Georgia. She and her husband are parents to two - a boy and a girl. Babs serves as a founding board member of a local nonprofit, LIFT Youth
Melodie and Babs grew to be close through church affiliation, mutual friends, and small groups. They had been in a tight-knit small group for a couple of years when Melodie began feeling restless in her career. She asked Babs to help in reimagining the design of the showroom without realizing that Babs was about to rock her business world and alter the immediate trajectory of her life.
As she talked about her childhood, Melodie reminisced about her own childhood in her grandfather's store.
Considering the 2-decade age difference, Melodie was in a mindset to begin winding down, while Babs was contemplating what the next years for her might look like. During a casual conversation, Babs talked about her childhood dream of owning a general store. As a small child, her grandfather had built her a miniature fully furnished general store. ( its now displayed in the shop). As she talked about her childhood, Melodie remembered her own childhood in her grandfather's store.
Melodie and Babs resolved to open a shop of their own. The decision was made in October of 2019 and the Grand Opening was March 14, 2020. It was a whirlwind of lists, phone calls, markets, buying, remodeling, meetings, and conversations. The store had to be completely remodeled and restocked, and now offers carefully curated, hand selected general merchandise in a unique setting. The store offers many nostalgic “nods” and “winks” to the past while offering good goods that are current, timely, and diverse.
Choosing the name was probably the most challenging decision. Many texts went back and forth trying to blend an image that represented the two women. Melodie had a childhood nickname from her uncles. They called her Sweet Fern from a skit on the Porter Wagner Show. Babs is a founding board member of Lift (a local youth encouragement nonprofit). The logo for LIFT is a feather....
And there you have it: A Fern and A Feather General Store!
The two women have a mutual respect and appreciation for values of community, small town experiences, integrity, and exceptional customer service. They are exceedingly interested in serving the community and offering a place where everyone feels comfortable to shop.