re you looking for that certain piece of furniture to complete that set or the perfect accessory to compliment your present décor? Look no further than 129 Main Street.
Brenda Smith started her journey in the design area while working at Hancock’s Corporate as a single mom needing a way to supplement her income without having to leave her children unattended. Smith started out going to nice yard sales and buying pieces of furniture and accessories, eventually buying out entire yard sales. She then would move all her purchases to her home where she would sort out the things to keep and the things to donate. The things that weren’t to be kept are all donated to the Salvation Army for resale there. The rest was cleaned and polished for sale.
Brenda started her career by having a yard sale once a month on a Saturday. She would set up in her carport, lawn, and porch making displays and setting up the furniture in room like settings. It was a lot of hard work, Brenda says, as it was set up late Fridays and early Saturdays each month. At the end of the day on Saturday everything had to be taken down and stored until the next month, nothing could be left out. Brenda alluded that she did not want the reputation of having her home looking like an ongoing yard sale.
uring this time Brenda had a friend, Tabitha Coker, who was a seamstress as well as a co-worker. They were always talking of opening a store here in New Albany. One morning Tabitha came by her desk and said “Are you ready to open that store?” “Yes I am, but I can’t make the move until September so that I can get my vacation pay for a boost to live on.”
This was May and Tabitha had just given her two-week notice. As it happens this was the time when layoffs at Hancock’s had been happening at an alarming pace but none of them had been in the administrative area. The next morning Brenda was called in and was told that she was among the first of the administrative division group. She went in for her exit interview and found that this was a blessing in disguise. She was given a severance package that included her pay through September, vacation pay, and was told that they would allow her to draw unemployment. Brenda had been praying for a solution, but had never dreamed that she would be given this kind of answer. “All I could think was Ain’t God Good and I’m so glad He is in control,” confessed Brenda.
Tabitha and I started looking for a building and found that we could rent the old Tutor Ford building on Bankhead. We started cleaning and fixing things and finally moved in sometime in 2004. We were searching for a name and decided that since we were in the business of reselling and designing that we would call ourselves Re-Designing Women.”
After four years, the old parts store building on Main became available and the price was right so Brenda became the new owner. Tabitha had since moved on from the business and Brenda had kept the name since it was already established in the marketplace. Lots of work had to be done to repair that old building that had a variety of past lives. The roof was repaired, walls painted, floors scrubbed, sanded, and sealed, a new porch and awning, along with giving the front of the building a general facelift.
oday Brenda is known all throughout the southeastern region and beyond. She is known as a businesswoman who treats customers with respect and courtesy above and beyond comparison. She has filled her store with a mix of new and old furniture and accessories for the homeowner. Antique furniture is throughout the store as well as lamps, paintings, wall hangings, artistic pieces, hand-painted room dividers, and china, silver, and linens. Brenda’s collection of lamps that stay lit 24 hours a day have been referred to as “Lighting up Main Street.”
A tour of the store by Brenda showing her favorite pieces includes a turn-of-the-century buffet and four pianos. The pianos are all in working condition and she encourages customers to sit down and play them whenever they are in the store with her favorite piano being a 1927 Baldwyn Baby Grand.
Brenda is available to also come to your home for consultation and to help you with interior design. She is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10-5 and Saturday 12-4. For more information call 662-509-2570.