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By JoEllen Black, Publisher
Courtney Swafford had a little extra time on her hands this school year. A high school counselor at Richmond, Swafford’s was contracted to work only four days a week for the district because of budget cuts, leaving her Fridays free. She decided to pursue another one of her personal interests by opening a home décor boutique in her husband’s Main Street Mall. Her store, Like a Tree, opened Nov. 4.
Like a Tree is filled with nature-inspired pieces, like topiaries, candle holders, figurines and galvanized metal and painted tin. The color palette uses soft greens and blues and antique white.
“I like a lot of green; lime green is my favorite,” Swafford said.
Swafford said she refinishes most candlesticks sold to give them a distressed “shabby chic” look, as well as creating some of the topiaries in her store. Swafford also offers a line of greeting cards she created, which was the first seed of her new enterprise. Each card utilizes a simple, whimsical tree with the words, “like a tree.” The inside words change depending on the occasion.
“I asked myself, ‘What do I need cards for?’” and from there she developed specialized messages.
“The front (of the cards) are uniform and simple and the inside words would be for that occasion or sentiment,” she said. A card for a new baby says, “like a tree, your roots will grow.” A card to inspire says, “like a tree, you stand tall.”
Swafford exclusively sells in the area Pickwick & Co. candles, made in Kansas City. The soy-based candles utilize unique spices and fragrances that make them a little different than others, she said.
The store hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Swafford said she would re-evaluate her Saturday hours after the holidays.
Swafford isn’t the only new kid on the block of female-friendly businesses at Main Street Mall, just east of Richmond square. Certified massage therapist Jamie Pittman has recently relocated her office at the mall. Pittman is available by appointment Monday through Saturday. They join Lulu & Grace, a fashion accessory store that features a large assortment of jewelry, handbags and scarves. It also features Red Shed Soap, handmade soap, lotion bars and salves made by Shonna Hillard of rural Richmond. Main Street Salon and Mediacom also keep the mall bustling.