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Holly Ann's plans Oct. 27 grand opening

Tanja Moody • Oct 22, 2012 at 9:38 AM

While working with family might not seem like a dream come true to some, it certainly works for the owners of Holly Ann’s in Church Hill.

The business, which specializes in antiques and vintage, primitive and shabby chic items, is named after Holly Ann Crawford, who runs the place with her daughters Pattie Kendall and Robin Whitt.

"We’ve never had a problem getting along," Holly said.

"We’re like the best of friends," Robin said.

And if customers stay in the store for very long and talk with the three co-owners, they’re sure to hear laughter and see the camaraderie between the mother and her daughters.

Holly Ann’s began as two booths in the back of The Homestead Shoppe. The ladies sold their items there for a year and a half, according to Pattie.

But before then, the idea sprouted as a dream.

"When we all lived in California, we used to go to antique stores," Holly said. "We’d spend hours walking around, dreaming, thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if we could do this ourselves?.’"

Robin has been in Tennessee the longest, living first in Kingsport and Johnson City before returning to California briefly for family reasons. Most recently, she has lived in Church Hill for more than three years. Holly and Pattie lived in Oregon before they joined Robin in Church Hill almost two years ago.

Work is divided in unspecific ways. Holly said that Robin is the most talented of the bunch, but Robin is quick to point out it’s a collaborative effort.

"We don’t have titles," Robin said. "Everybody does what they can. Everybody jumps in if something needs to be done."

Sewing is Holly’s forte. And Pattie and Holly take the time to strip off old layers of paint on furniture before Robin paints the pieces.

In the fiercely competitive business, they scour estate sales and auctions to buy furniture and they also work with items they have collected over the years.

"When we purchase items, we typically look for items that we can do something to," Robin said. "Repurpose, refinish."

"We try not to buy something and put it in the store ‘as is,’" Pattie added.

Feedback from customers has been positive, with many saying the prices at Holly Ann’s are very reasonable. People also comment on the interior of the building, which was formerly a gas station and then a computer store before the ladies moved their business in. When customers come inside, they’re greeted with light colors and a clean, open space, not dark and cramped quarters.

Holly Ann’s will host its grand opening on Saturday, Oct. 27, and will serve refreshments and offer items on sale. The business is located across from The Homestead Shoppe in the Church Hill Shopping Center. Business hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, call 423-963-3556.

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