The Feathered Nest, Oneonta, Alabama's Gift Shop
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The owner of The Feathered Nest, Annette McGuire, claims to have feathered many nest, in many homes, in several locations of the country before settling back home in Alabama. Once she graduated from Auburn University she moved to Arkansas. This move still south but further west, gave her a new appreciation and approach to decorating with the items she found on her treasure hunts.
There are slight differences in styles of decorating within the Southern region. Quick trips to Memphis, Mississippi and Texas brought new styles and favorites like rustic wood doors and old west flair.
After living in Arkansas she moved to Connecticut. Where the definition of what was "old" changed a lot while living there. Antique stores are sometimes chained together on side-roads that reach from southern New England to Maine. There is an incredible charm that is real life Norman Rockwell-esque landscape and a modern mix. There are many towns with great shops in New England to travel to. After frequent visits to a few favorite shops, Annette friended a fellow transplanted Southerner from Tennessee. This friend and seasoned antique dealer opened the world of huge gatherings of dealers who traveled. Martha Stewart and movie stars were often spotted at these huge events. "We often traveled from Connecticut to Maine on an antique route to wherever the treasure took us." From primitive antiques to French, English and really great collections from other dealers all in one spot made an exciting weekend. These dealers also own shops. "My Favorites are in the Berkshires, Antiques on 9 in Maine and The Buggy Whip in Massachusetts." says Annette when asked where she would retrace her treasure hunt. "Each dealer on the route knows the other guy up the road, so if you are in the market for something in particular, just ask the shop owner and they will guide you to some really great places."
With so many items to collect along these long winding antique routes, the first items she bought were kitchen items like bread boards, herb drying racks, rolling pins, but mostly, cookie cutters. "The cookie cutters I found made me smile, they made me think of holiday baking, children and entertaining", declared Annette. When asked what tempted her as she traveled along with her antique dealer she replied, "I was tempted by the items that were well worn. I have the strange ability to see something that might look rusty and old but to me it really is a treasure and tells a story. I love finding old glass or picture frames, linens and postcards that are written on to someone back home,. The really great furniture from all the different time periods to me, are the ones that are worn and served a purpose in a family's life, rather than a perfectly restored item which was never used much or well loved by someone."
The Feathered Nest will have several of the items collected from the antique trips for treasures. This summer another trip is planned to visit a few of Connecticut's fairs and auctions. "On this trip I hope to come home with a U-Haul truck full of old barn wood, doors and other materials. It is great fun to brainstorm new ideas of how to reclaim and transform these treasures into furniture with new life," Annette said.
We asked her to explain what her business does. "The Feathered Nest is based on the creativity of changing vintage treasures into elegant beauty that is luxurious yet mingled with a rustic, reclaimed vibe," Annette laughed. "We are mixed with local artist and designers who love what they create and want to experience just what social media can bring to their creation. It's just going to be a lot of fun!"
The Feathered Nest is opening it's store in the historic "Tin Town" section of 1st Street in Oneonta, Alabama. Tin Town was once the area of town where farm equipment, and supplies were sold. From tractor parts to animal feed, Tin Town sold the products real people needed. The Feathered Nest truly embraces Tin Town. It is exciting to open The Feathered Nest where there was great activity long ago by hard working Americans. "We are in a different time in history. Instead of the railroad being the hub of what brings in the products, and goods to the stores we live in a time where shops are connected to their customers through Facebook, websites and many other social media, Annette said.
In 2005 Annette began blogging and getting involved at the start of the growth of social media. In 2010, she was invited to a conference held in Atlanta to meet many of the leaders in this new industry at the M3 conference. Although she was asked to work the event by the conference founders, she found that her job of networking the speakers, and video interviewing each attendant gave her the skills needed to promote companies in a productive way. "Now I have the opportunity to promote my own business and venders using the skills I have gained in 9 years," Annette added.
Annette McGuire will promote the artist and designers who sell their products at The Feathered Nest. "I am a networker and promoter by nature. When you bring your art, designs and products to me I will then link you, promote you and put you on the map. Together we will develop the links you need to get your items to the targeted consumer. I have people approaching me now because they have seen how important social media is to the success of selling what they produce, both goods and services. I have a proven track record of promoting and we are building a strong team! It's so exciting!"
When you walk into The Feathered Nest you will be surrounded by Annette's style of visual merchandising armed with local Alabama artist and designers products combined with treasures from the different areas of the South and New England. Annette has painted areas of the shop to bring a whimsical feeling. "I have ladybugs, birds, a cat and it seems miles of rock that I have painted," Annette said.
The surprise to be shared by all customers at The Feathered Nest is The Secret Garden. "We were looking at several locations to rent but when we opened the back door we discovered a patio. My mother and I both inhaled in surprise then looked at each other knowing what each other was thinking. Which was, this patio would be a great place to relax and invite people to parties and to hold small events."
We broke ground and began working to make this back patio and garden into The Three R's... Relax, Refresh and Retail!", Annette giggled.
We hope you can find the items our artist and designers have created as beautiful as we believe they are. Our prices are fair and we treat our whole team right. The Feathered Nest is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction - we hope you will drop by and let us show you around our shop. Tell us if we are as good live and in person as we are online and in the world of social media.
We strive to meet your expectations. With a variety of vintage and new market items for your home and apparel to choose from, we're sure you'll be happy shopping with us.
Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us.
We hope to see you again! Check back later for new updates to our website. There are great things yet to come!