By: Quincy Potasnik and Betty Gandee
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to the owner of Hometown Floral, Tracy Osborne. I am always curious to know about new businesses opening in Clay County, especially those that incorporate the arts.
The shop, which is opening soon, is housed in the original and historical King’s Jewelry building, a staple to many Clay County. Owner Mike King said the wood part of the building out front was built in 1911. It is unknown when the first jewelry store opened, but his grandfather opened it to the public shortly after it was built. Later, the cinder block part of the building was built in the back. He was a watchmaker so it only made sense to open up his talents to his community.
His son modeled after his father, and the trade was passed to his grandson, Mike. The jewelry store closed its doors in 1995 because of negative local economic impact. The building, which houses apartments upstairs, has been used for several businesses since then.
Osborne moved to Clay County in 1977 with her family from Ohio when she was seven years old. Her dad, Jerry, decided that “busing” his daughter 70 miles from their home across town in Cleveland to her new school was not healthy for their family. (Busing was a result of racial integration or desegregation after the civil rights movement that ended in 1968. It placed children, black and white, in schools far from their homes in order to try and balance the ratio of races.) Her city-raised mother, Tonia, was shocked that the road they turned up, headed to her father’s family home up Grassy Creek, was unpaved. Little did she know that country life would change her heart and turn her into a country girl.
They lived with Osborne’s grandparents, Ed and Madeline Bodkins, for 9 months until their house was finished being built. She describes those short months as “the best time of her life.” It was the first time she’d gotten to know her grandparents. Her grandpa was an amazing man and brought tons of happiness to the 7 year old that she will never forget. Sadly, he died shortly after they moved into their new house. She spent the rest of her childhood in Clay County, graduated in 1988 from CCHS, and she and her husband, John, have raised their children here. Together they own Cherokee Monuments.
Currently working as an office manager for Wilson Smith Funeral Home, Osborne decided it would be in the best interest to open a flower shop that could meet the needs of county residents and beyond. Her attention to detail from working as a hair stylist for 20 years will give her an advantage in this business. She has recruited long-time friend, former flower shop owner, and floral arrangement extraordinaire Nancy Murphy to create beautiful pieces for their customers.
The shop will also offer various craft and gift items like Candleberry candles, including their natural line called Unearthed, and throws with verses on them. She plans to incorporate the Vera Bradley line within the next year. Also working with Tracy is Micki Boggs, master wreath maker, and Mary Beth and Shelly Taylor, who craft old-fashioned rag rugs and decor. Her idea to prompt folks to shop locally and efficiently is a good one. With the town of Clay on the up and coming, she is excited to see what happens and is excited to be a part of it.
Hometown Floral’s grand opening will be held this Saturday, September 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Refreshments will be served. All are invited.
Their regular operating hours will be Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Call 304-587-7199, or 304-651-8468 after hours, for more information. Same day orders fulfilled.
Owner Tracy Osborne says the shop will serve Clay County and beyond.