Meet Katherine York, the owner of Smith & York, a modern home boutique. Katherine is sharing her story of transitioning from working from Visit Franklin to opening her own store!
TNM: You worked for Visit Franklin for 14 years, what was your journey to opening your own shop?
KY: Adam and I started visiting Columbia in December of 2018. The first time we visited the square, we were blown away at the restoration that had taken place since we had been there years earlier. You could sense that Downtown was on the verge of a renaissance of sorts. We quickly started doing our research and knew that Columbia is where we wanted to put our first shop. I resigned from my job to focus on starting the business, thinking it would take nine to twelve months to secure a location and start finding vendors. Little did I know that I would have a lease to one of the largest, most recognizable buildings on the square just seven days later. I believe that God knew exactly when and where we would be. We just had to trust and take the steps to get there. We received keys to the shop April 1st, with zero retail experience. We started demolition and renovating immediately. We didn’t purchase our first piece of merchandise until the last week of April and opened our doors May 30th. The store opened with limited inventory, but Adam and I made the decision early on to only purchase items that we loved and would have in our own home. We hope others see that our shop is an extension of our home; a place where everyone is welcomed.
|TNM: Not only did you open a shop in Downtown Columbia but your family has moved there as well. What drew you all to Muletown? |
KY: Once the shop had been open for a few months, we start to develop a real appreciate for Columbia. It’s a true small town where everyone knows everyone. A lot of our customers were born and raised in Columbia, and they have a deep pride for their community. We were already regulars at restaurants like Vanh Dy’s piano bar, Muletown Coffee, Taps Off Main, and Buck + Board and stores like the The Linen Duck and Oak + Lace. Our customers had become our friends, and we felt like we belonged. The
sense of community is so strong in Columbia, and the city has a lot to offer.
|TNM: What can readers expect to find at Smith + York?|
KY: Smith & York Co. is located in historic 1800’s building right on the Public Square. Our space is charming and quaint and is the perfect backdrop for a relaxing shopping experience. We have created a space that makes you feel right at home when you enter the shop. As you stroll, you will find an array of unique items for your home and lifestyle. We pride ourselves on bringing something different to the shopping experience in
Downtown Columbia, while also staying true to the spirit of the local
|TNM: What are some holiday events coming up in Columbia that we should mark on our calendars?|
KY: There are so many wonderful events happening in Muletown this holiday season. We are most excited for Fa-La-La Fridays. Every Friday in the month of December the shops will stay open until 8:00pm for shoppers to stroll downtown and pick out the perfect gift. There is something about being on the square at night that is so special, especially with the square lit by the Christmas tree. For a full list of events in Columbia, visit
|TNM: What are your top three gift items in the store?|
KY: Our top three best sellers are, first and foremost, cheese and cutting boards. We offer a variety of accessoriness and books to accompany them. They make perfect gifts for hostesses, birthdays, and weddings. The second best seller is our candle line, Bridgewater Candles. Our most popular fragrance is called Sweet Grace. It’s the only candle we burn in the shop and what most people in town would tell you is our signature scent. Lastly, we sell a lot of men’s gift items. We have a section in the store that
displays a selection of items that are perfect for any gentleman.
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