NEW ALBANY • Brenda Smith, owner of Redesigning Women in downtown New Albany, said the work ethic she learned growing up on a farm in Union Country helped build the business she has today.
Located at 120 W. Main St., Redesigning Women has been open for 15 years. For about the first six of those years, the business was located on Bankhead Street where Mi Pueblo is currently. But Smith decided she needed more space and bought the building she is now located in downtown.
Smith likes having her business downtown, saying there seems to be more traffic. And one of her favorite restaurants, Tallahatchie Gourmet, is located just across the street.
She said she came up with the name of the business, Redesigning Women, because she likes the TV show Designing Women. And everything in her store is secondhand, hence the name Redesigning Women.
Smith sells furniture and home accessories, including lamps, art, mirrors and China. There is furniture available for all rooms in the house, such as tables, chairs, China cabinets and buffets.
The store features a wide a variety of prices ranging from $5 to over $2,000.
“I’m picky about the things I buy to resell,” Smith said. “I like quality, and quality is hard to come by anymore.”
She says Redesigning Women has very good prices and good quality merchandise. There is also an abundance of inventory at Redesigning Women, with different styles such as antiques, mid-Century modern pieces, French pieces and traditional items.
New items are regularly added to the store, so there is always something different to see. Other items sold at the store include jewelry, vases, shelves, books and rugs.
Smith loves this line of work, saying she enjoys finding things to put in her store. She compared it to a man going hunting. She also loves to be around people.
She noted that God led her into this business and has had His hand on her the whole way through.
“I’ve just depended on Him to make it work,” she said, adding that she retired from Hancock Fabrics where she was a customer service manager in Tupelo.
Smith grew up in Union County and graduated from New Albany High School. She graduated from Ole Miss with a degree in business education, and after college, she taught business education classes to high school students in Florida. She moved around some living in Memphis and Texas before returning home.
Smith has two children, Dawn Ellis of New Albany and Brent Smith of Pontotoc. Her son used to play pro football for Miami.
Smith said she likes New Albany. She described it as an easygoing city – the kind of place where people know and are are always willing to help one another. She also likes being close to her family. She has six grandchildren and one great grandchild.
In her spare time, she likes to go out to eat with friends and likes playing a card game called Rook. She attends Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church, which is the church she grew up in.
Smith grew up on a small farm, and her mom worked at Sappington’s in New Albany. Her dad was a farmer, and she helped out on the farm too by picking cotton, corn and soybeans.
“I just grew up working,” she said, adding that it taught her discipline. She said her parents worked hard to provide for her and her brother. The work ethic she got from working on the farm has stayed with her throughout her life, she said.
Redesigning Women stays pretty busy, and most of the business’ customers are from out of town. She said there was a need for secondhand furniture store in New Albany. She remembers going with her mom and dad to secondhand furniture stores.
“When we needed something that’s what we did,” Smith said. “We didn’t buy new.”
She wanted to help people out who couldn’t afford to buy new but still wanted nice things. And she says that Redesigning Women offers great quality, competitive prices and good service.
The business is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and half-days on Saturdays.