Terri Thomas is excited about her new shop, Made In the Shade, located in Downtown Kingsport, but she stresses that it is a joint effort with family members.
Her sister does the marketing and also paints. Thomas’ 16-year-old daughter, Courtney, makes jewelry. Her 24-year-old daughter, Rachel, coordinates the social media. Her mother lends her creative talents in painting and design. Her father does some of the lamp repair. Even her former husband lends a hand as carpenter. Thomas worked at American Lighting in Kingsport for a little over a year and often heard customers ask about sources for lamp shades. To help fill that need, Terri opened Made In the Shade on April 15 at 324 East Market Street beside Up Against the Wall Gallery.
Windows are filled with unique glass pieces, colorful lamps, sun-catchers and paintings. Upon entering the store, your eyes are immediately drawn to a large, bright red swing - perfect for curling up with a good book (or perhaps just taking a quick nap!). Pieces of painted furniture, ranging from a colorful child’s rocking chair to a farmhouse table and several smaller tables, are placed around the room. Reclaimed wood is also featured in wine racks, coffee tables, and magazine/book holders. This furniture is as “at home” in an industrial loft space as it is in a country cottage.
The shelves lining the walls are stocked with numerous lamp shades in many shapes - among them, drum, bell, modified bell, and Coolie, both soft tailored and hard back.
“All the shades are made in America,” Thomas stresses. “The lamp and lamp pieces are manufactured other places, but I try to do my part to support American factories by ordering strictly American made shades.”
There are also several custom-made lamps for sale, ranging from very small candlestick lamps to large urns, some casual and bright, some elegant mosaic pieces in tranquil pastels.
Thomas is quick to point out that her shop also carries lamp pieces that can transform almost any piece into a one-of-a-kind lamp. Her one exception is an heirloom piece.
“There are ways of running the cord outside of the piece, but I will not drill into an heirloom piece at the risk of breaking it. Aside from that, I can make a lamp out of almost anything,” she said.
She also repairs lamps.
Made In the Shade carries other items, too, such as “Rub Dubs,” a “dry cleaning pad” for cleaning lampshades (and many, many other items, too), finials, and she can special order shades in almost any color or shape, trimmed or plain. The shop will begin carrying designer accent pillows later this summer and has been chosen as the exclusive local dealer for “Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint,” which will also be in the shop later this summer.
In the meantime, new lamp shades are purchased, special order shades are filled, more jewelry and furniture appears, and lamps are constructed, repaired, painted and decorated.
Made In the Shade is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. until 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Many of the shop’s pieces can be seen on http://www.facebook.com/itsmadeintheshade. For more information, call the shop at 423-765-9025.