February will be an exciting month for Britney Wilkerson.
She and her husband of six years, Wes, will welcome their second child.
The couple, owners of Wilkie's Outfitters in Lebanon, is also parents to adorable four-year-old daughter, Briley. The family is proud to call the Gladeville community their home.
Britney's roots in Wilson County run deep. She is a 1999 graduate of Lebanon High School.
After obtaining her Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education from Middle Tennessee State University in 2003, Britney began her teaching career. She spent 11 years with the Lebanon Special School District (LSSD), teaching at Byars Dowdy Elementary and Winfree Bryant Middle School.
She was named Byars Dowdy Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2010. That same year she earned a Master's Degree in Counseling and Psychology from Trevecca Nazarene University.
Britney met Wes while he was playing professional baseball in Nashville. They were both living downtown at the time and were introduced by a mutual friend.
When the couple married, they moved back to Lebanon.
"I always knew that when I wanted to start a family that Wilson County was my home," she said.
In February 2015, the Wilkersons purchased property for their store at 110 Public Square.
"At first, I thought we had lost our minds, but after much prayer and consideration and support from my family and friends the decision was made. Wes had spent the last four years at Ezell Harding Christian School teaching art and coaching baseball and basketball," she said. "I had just recently made the decision to leave the education world and begin a new journey with Empower Me. The building needed a total make-over, so after four months of revitalizing the historic building, we officially opened the doors of Wilkie's Outfitters on June 1, 2015."
"Wilkie" was the nickname given to Wes by coaches during the 10 years he played baseball.
Britney said the most rewarding part of owning a small business is building relationships with customers.
"We love seeing our regular customers and meeting new faces each day. Wes and I love people and a good conversation," she added. "People say running a business takes an army, but here at Wilkie's it takes the support of our family. We have felt so blessed by the overwhelming response from our community."
A desire to help the special needs community was placed in Britney's heart when she was a peer tutor in Ms. Lisa Tuggle's special education class at LHS.
Britney joined Empower Me Day Camp full time in August 2015 as the recreational director; however, she's worked with the organization for the last 16 years as a summer camp counselor, team leader and assistant camp director.
"Executive Director Michelle Hill and I are more like a family, with a passion for special needs individuals and a dream we want to see come true," she said.
When she isn't working, her hobbies include shopping, traveling and being outdoors. She's active with the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Wilson County Fair Board.
The woman she most admires is her mother, Vanessa Spickard. She described Spickard as a very driven, selfless individual who looks at every situation as a learning experience - and never a challenge.
"She has always been there for me and has made me the person I am today," she said. "She's my biggest fan and has always shown me so much love and support."