Downtown Southern Sass features local artisans
One Hartselle woman has turned her affinity for hand-made crafts and décor into her own business.
Kristen Lorance sold personalized wooden signs through a Facebook page called the Painted Willow and had a booth at an antique shop for several years before opening Downtown Southern Sass at 213 Main St. in Hartselle.
“I really wanted a place to sell my signs with other similar items, so people could know exactly where to come for these sort of specialty crafts,” Lorance said. “Selling online came with the hassle of figuring out a way to meet customers. Now I have a place to showcase anything I want to make instead of only filling orders. Customers have an easily accessible place to meet with me, and I can still make personalized items upon request.”
Downtown Southern Sass features the hand-made crafts of several local artisans. The store offers hairbows from El Belle Boutique, mixed media from Tiffany Brightwell’s A Southern Perspective, jewelry from Miranda Harris, vinyl monogramming from CopperCross, embroidery by Elaine Green and much more. Lorance has everything from unique clothing and fine woodworking to birdseed cakes and colored chalkboard cake, with the option of custom ordering any item.
Jami Whitt and Erica Eaton are the founders of Kandle Kraze-e. They make affordable candles and wax melts out of top-quality products.
“We found the idea on Pinterest and tried one just for fun,” Eaton said. “That first one turned out horribly, but we both love candles, so we wanted to try again. We experimented a ton until we found the perfect way to do it, so we decided to try selling them about two and a half months ago.”
“Now we have over 200 scents that we change seasonally,” Whitt said. “We make them scented throughout the candle, so they smell strongly the entire time they are lit. They also burn evenly without wasting any of the wax. We decorate each candle and use only the best ingredients such as cotton wicks and all-natural soy wax.”
Their candles are $13.50 for a 16-ounce candle and $5 for wax melts. Customers can bring in their depleted candle for a refill for a $1.50 discount with the option of changing the scent.
Lorance said the boutique is a common place for home businesses like Kandle Kraze-e.
“There are a lot of locals who like to make a little money off their creativity,” Lorance said. “I had a network of friends who I would buy from and who would buy from me, so I thought it would be good for all of us if we had a store for it all. I hope to expand and allow for more sellers eventually. So far, I’ve had quite a bit of interest from other artists.”
Downtown Southern Sass also holds public paint parties and offers to host private sessions in their party room.
“The paint parties are all inclusive and reasonably priced,” Lorance said. “Tiffany Brightwell is a local mixed media artist who directs the parties and shows visitors how to paint the subjects. These parties would be great as easy birthday parties, get-togethers or fundraisers. We supply everything that’s needed, all you have to do is show up.”
Lorance’s next paint party will be April 24 6 p.m. and will feature a bouquet still-life on canvas.