By Ben Lawson
Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge are known for showcasing a wide range of local artists and craftsmen. But now, the Seymour Warehouse Mall is poised to bring their talents closer to home.
The idea originated with Charlie Blankenship and Marcie Estes. Estes was working part time for Blankenship when he suggested using the building he owned and tapped her to run it. Estes, who is originally from Georgia, moved to the area with her husband two years ago and immediately fell in love.
The 6,000 square foot building houses antiques, collectibles and crafts from a wide array of vendors. The space is divided into 45 booths which can be leased for $140 or split between two vendors for $75 each. They have 45 booths and 12 are currently leased.
“I’d like to have this place so packed you can barely walk through here,” Estes said.
The benefit to leasing a space is that Estes runs the mall full time, allowing the vendors to handle other business or hone their craft. Prices vary depending on what’s for sale, such as handmade scarves for $7.
“We want to create business for local artists,” Estes said. “We don’t want tourists or artists to have to go all the way to Gatlinburg. We have the same people here, too.”
There are also booths set aside for items picked up at estate sales, including dining room tables and chairs, glass ware and a full cabinet set. If you’re after something sweet, a variety of fudge is available.
Estes hopes the business will continue to grow. She noted the number of similar establishments that have popped up recently, attributing them to the economy and people’s desire to be thrifty and find great deals.
“If the need was there and we had the right place to do it, we would look into expanding,” she said.
But for now, the goal is to showcase Seymour’s best creative minds.
“If this is what they are spending their lives doing, we should support them,” Estes said.
The Seymour Warehouse Mall is located at 11706 Chapman Highway, behind Downtown Autobody. They are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday. They are closed on Monday.
For more information on leasing a booth, contact Estes at 803-9958 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mall Supports Local Artists
By Ben Lawson