WHAT WE LOVE: Beautifully curated, independent lifestyle store championing American-made, fair trade, local artists and eco-friendly products.
WHO: Former teacher Kenya Brantley.
WHERE: Greenhouse Mercantile is in Newnan, Georgia
Why did you chose the name Greenhouse Mercantile? I wanted the name to convey that we were eco-friendly and sustainable.
Who designed the shop? I did. As the owner, I wanted to have a part in every detail, including our products and the placement.
What are your best-selling products? Sydney Hale Candles, who gives 10% to animal rescue, LaPierre Cosmetics, cruelty-free lacquers that are manufactured in the US, vegan dishwashing block, free of dyes and fragrance.
Where do you source the products you sell at Greenhouse Mercantile? I think that people are always amazed that we don’t go to the mart for anything. All of our products are sourced through social media, mainly Instagram, and local entrepreneurs.
What makes Greenhouse Mercantile unique? We truly love makers, shakers, and other small businesses. We have even set up a space in the back of our shop to provide other small business owners, mainly woman-owned, to set up pop-up shops, which allows them to get their name out there without the burden of the overhead of owning an actual shop.
Who are your customers? My customers include absolutely everyone, from high school and college students to grandmothers looking for gifts for their family members to moms to men who are searching for a few self-care items for themselves.
Have you adapted your business to the coronavirus pandemic? I won’t lie. At the beginning of this pandemic, it was extremely touch and go. Everything was pretty much shut down and we really didn’t know how we were going to move forward. But isn’t that the amazing thing about entrepreneurs, we always figure out a way to pivot and grow and in a lot of instances, we come out better than before. We decided to do curbside pick-ups along with porch deliveries. We also started doing virtual pop-up shops and added some amazing features to our website to increase our online presence even more.
Kenya Brantley, shopkeeper at Greenhouse Mercantile
Who inspires you? All of the American makers that continue to bring forth creative product for my customers. Their work ethic is undeniable.
What inspires you? Instagram, including The Shopkeepers account. I love seeing what other shopkeepers are doing.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. was a teacher for one year. Being an educator is definitely not for the faint of heart! I then became a stay-at-home mom.
Why did you open your shop? I really wanted to show my daughters that women can truly accomplish anything. I think this is important to show, especially being a woman of color.
Did you have prior retail experience? I did not. Just a few antique booths and market setups under my belt.
Your favorite thing about owning an independent shop? Hands-down the customers! The way my heart leaps when someone comes in and finds THE perfect vintage piece that they have been looking for or a piece of vintage clothing that fits them perfectly. It truly brings me joy.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Be patient. And learn to love the process of becoming.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? A professional fisherwoman.
What are your favorite local independent businesses? Portrait Coffee ATL and Fuel Coffee Bar. Can you tell I love coffee?
What are your most precious possessions? My Bible, my phone, and my mother’s old coffee percolator that I use every day.
What is your favorite shop? Citizen Supply, Atlanta.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts? @shopsummercamp, @noelandgladys, @loyalstricklin, @notperfectlinen, @sundaysupply, @septembertheshop, @morningtide.shop, @thezensucculent, @theplantally, @jaceyduprie and @thiswildidea
I wish I could… Make everyone see that we are actually more alike than we are different.
ON THE FUTURE OF RETAIL
“If we never believed in the power of the presence of being online, I think we definitely believe in it now. Having multiple ways to reach customers is of dire importance for small business owners.”
Photography Emmanuel Brooks
6A East Washington Street, Newnan, GA