Nestled in downtown Clinton in the main courthouse square is a shop with a long family legacy in the retail business.
Tonya Parrish, the owner of Shabby Lane, had her interest in retail sparked by her mom and dad.
“At age four my parents bought Halls Mill Pond store,” she explained this week. “We lived upstairs, and downstairs was the country store.” Parrish’s parents are Ken and Debby Lane.
“My dad always dealt with furniture,” said Parrish. She said that her dad has bought and sold many antiques over the years, and he worked on antiques and refinishing projects. He also used to sell pecan resin figurines.
Parrish’s store is filled to the brim with all kinds of household items. It is, she said, one of many shops her family has been involved with. through the years.The name Shabby Lane originated from her parents having primitive furniture and her maiden name.
“We had a store on Dunn Highway where my parents sold antiques,” explained Parrish. “Then they had the opportunity to buy a store in Clinton which became the Country Heart over by Jordan Shopping Center.” Her parents had a big influence on why she chose to have a gift shop of her own, particularly since she grew up in the business and understands so much about the retail end of things.
After Walmart’s arrival in Clinton, her family closed down the Country Heart. Her dad went to work for Carrolls Foods and her mom went back to school to become a hairdresser. Even after closing the store, her dad still dabbled in the antique business.
Yet that closing didn’t stop Parrish from moving towards the dream of one day owning a store of her own, but not before she put in some work at Butler’s Gifts, just across the street. That is where she became interested in the bridal business.
“I was working in my own cleaning business at the time,” detailed Parrish. “That’s when PatsyWaters, over at Butler’s, approached me about working with her.” Parrish worked at Butler’s for six years.
“I am moving towards bridal registry, here” said Parrish about Shabby Lane. The eclectic mix of items in the store are tastefully displayed with everything from place settings to candles to acrylic ware that can be engraved.
“I am also certified with the National Bridal Service,” she added, pointing proudly at her certificate hanging in the alcove in the back of the store.
“Anything not nailed down is for sale,” Parrish said of the offerings in the store.
Her decision to open Shabby Lane has been in the back of her mind for a while, a dream unrealized until 2012.
“I wanted to make downtown better and it gave me the idea for this store,” she said. “I wanted to spruce up downtown with variety shopping.”
The store opened in September 2012 and it is now, Parrish said, her full time commitment. While she enjoys most every aspect of the retail business, she does admit working with brides has given her a lot of pleasure. “I have enjoyed working with brides.” Brides can come in and register for a pattern and all kinds of other things, right down to lamps, she pointed out of her offerings in the store.
“There are a lot of hours in the retail business,” noted Parrish. Even though she has to work early mornings and sometimes late at night, her store is clearly a labor of love.
“I enjoy wrapping and I am all about presentation,” she said, showing the high quality wrapping paper available at Shabby Lane. “I think that is the best part of giving a gift.” She learned how to make bows from her mom.
Parrish has two children, a daughter who is 14 and a son that is 11. Her husband of 17 years, Jack Parrish, works at Steel Technologies.
Emily M. Hobbs can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 122. Follow us on Twitter: @SampsonInd