Today is Friday, August 18, 2017

Artisan treasures found at the new Cottage 222 in MJ

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The sign in front of the cute white brick cottage house on Lebanon Road in Mt. Juliet says, "Welcome to Our Porch."

"Sit long. Talk much. Laugh Often," the friendly sign further beckons.

Newly opened by business partners Jamie Wotherspoon and Gina Stoudt, the concept of the unique store is their multi-vendor venue that offers a mix of new, repurposed antiques, collectables, home goods and original local art, explained Jamie.

"We absolutely have something for everyone," she said.

An abstract artist, it's not a stretch for Jamie to take this journey where she and Gina provide charming space for fellow talented artisans and like-minded.

The 1,200-square foot business is full of unique finds crafted, made new, or refurbished by locals. Currently there are seven vendors and four artists with more scheduled to come on board.

"We are looking for original, hand-made crafters with items to provide themselves with income," Jamie said.

Well-known Nashville artist Carrie Tillis (yes, she has a famous father) showcases for sale her realism pieces in acrylics and oils. Artists' work hangs on the walls with literally something different everyday there to be discovered. Eddie Webb, a new 72-year-old artist, sells his oils there.

Hermitage acrylic artist Pam Brown uses the "dirty pour" method in her paintings.

"They are just amazing and breathtaking," enthused Jamie.

Vintage perfection, coffee table charisma, "Square Peg Creations," refinished refinement, candlesticks, shabby chic are just a few of the options found while browsing the store.

When Jamie and Gina spotted the "For Sale" sign on their now cherished business building they said the knew immediately this would be Cottage 222.

"We want to celebrate and support local Mt. Juliet and Nashville artists who work really hard, out of a conventional workplace," said Jamie.

Herself an artisan, creating for Jamie comes naturally, literally.

"My father was considered a master finisher," said the Illinois native.

He just happens to be a rodeo cowboy as well.

"I was raised around show horses," Jamie revealed. "My dad's a pipe fitter by trade. He knows how to weld. Everything about him is artistic.

Jamie moved to Nashville in 2014 and has two grown children and one in college. She remarried last July and her husband helps her with the business.

"He's our IT guy, hauler, actor, singer and songwriter," she laughed. "Ryan has a flexible schedule working for ourselves. We ditched everything. We don't want to vacation in Bora Bora. We just have really good friends who work hard to hang their work on the wall."

Even their daughter Avery Wheeler is involved as a vendor. In college, she's launched "Good Night Lamb," and hand makes baby items. A talented seamstress, Avery's grandmother taught her to sew.

Jamie said they had a hard time finding any place local in Mt. Juliet that showcases "legitimate" local artists.

"We realize it will take a while to locate more original artists and their work," she said. "We are not a second-hand store."

An "elegant conglomeration of everything," can be discovered at their business, noted Jamie. Everything is for sale and original artwork sells from about $45 to $500. And, there are hundreds of other unique items to purchase outside of paintings.

They hope soon their location will be used as venue for popups, book signings and more.

"We are open to suggestions and invite people to come and show their work," Jamie said. "We aren't just a cool art gallery, but also a home goods store.

Cottage 222 is located at 13670 Lebanon Road. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 615.939.9409

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