The Dialogue with Christy Simmers
This feature—a question-and-answer session with a new Blount County Chamber member will appear every week. So here we go with our first installment with Christy Simmers, owner of Christy's Creative Cafe
. This quaint store is located at 2940 Topside Road, Suite 3, Louisville, TN.
Why are you in business? I have been creating and selling my work through local craft shows and other retail shops for several years. My passion is creating treasures to brighten the lives of others and to help them find their own creative talent. Our area is rich with creative talent and artists that do not have an easy way to sell their works and my dream was to offer a place where people could find that perfect gift or decor piece that brings a smile to their hearts and to provide a venue for our artists to share their talents and allow others to experience the joy of creating.
Describe what the business does.Christy's Creative Cafe offers handcrafted, Handpainted and vintage items for gifts and home decor. We offer our Creative Socials to provide classes in various arts and crafts in a welcoming environment so others can perhaps discover their creativity and hidden talents. The shoppe provides local artists a venue to share and sell their work. And most of all our, treasures bring smiles to our customers.
How did you get started in this business? Painting, crafting and teaching is a passion that I have been blessed to experience. I wanted to be able to share with the community and I believe the concept is unique in our area and provides an alternative to our artists having to travel to Arts and Crafts shows, set up and tear down in all types of weather. I have participated in many shows and I have sold through other local shops. I wanted to combine the shopping experience with the creating experience.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business? My entire career has been in Healthcare management and particularly in providing services to the community. Working with people and helping people has been the largest part of that career, along with knowing how to manage a budget. Painting and crafting is a passion and has served as my way of relaxing. I am a certified Onestroke Instructor and have studied with Donna Dewberry for over 10 years. There is so much more to learn, but I know the community and the great business owners in our area will be great mentors and teachers.
Whom do/did you seek advice before/during the operation of your business? Other shop owners and various seminars for business planning. One of my goals is to engage in the offerings of the Chamber to gain knowledge and inspiration going forward.
Describe your customers. Our customers are local community members who enjoy handcrafted and one-of-a-kind items for gifts and home decor. Our customers also have a passion for supporting local businesses.
What do you enjoy about running your business? Providing a quality product that brings smiles and enjoyment to others. Offering other a way to learn to express their creativity in a friendly and welcoming environment. Meeting our community members and learning about the items they choose to brighten their homes and to share with others.