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From Main Street to a Mixed-Use Space

by Jessica Harlan

Storefront image of AbbeyLeigh, with bright blue awnings

Since 2009 Janis Gaudette has operated The Shoppes on Main on Franklin’s main street in Tennessee. In 2019 the building was no longer available to rent, so Janis decided to move her business to a mixed-used space at nearby Berry Farms and change its name. The business now caters to a built-in demographic of residents eager to support local business, rather than capricious tourists, and the parking is much better.

Landscaape image of Berry Farms area at sunset

How would you describe the atmosphere of your store?

Our store has an open floor plan with lots of windows and not a lot of wall space so we use tables to stack merchandise along with wooden cable spools. I love when people say, “There’s so much to see, I don’t even know where to start!”

To what do you attribute your success?

I don’t want my store to have the same things you see everywhere. When we

go to market, we try to look for things that are different, and we think about

unconventional ways something could be used or displayed in a home. I also make sure merchandise doesn’t get stale. If I get tired of something or if it’s not selling, we load it into a shopping cart and sell it at a deep discount. If it doesn’t go within a month, then it’s off to Goodwill!

A selection of gift products on display, including candles and, angels and picture frames

How do you promote your store?

We do a lot of promotions on Instagram and Facebook which my daughter Leigh handles. We have a huge email list and I send emails every time we host an event or have a big sale or if we get a fantastic shipment. Otherwise, it’s just word of mouth. I don’t do any paid advertising.

What has been your most successful recent event?

We hold a birthday party every year along with an open house at Christmas. During these times we always do a Nora Fleming giveaway, like ‘buy two platters, get one free’, and deep discounts on Hobo or other brands we don’t usually put on sale.

Winter themed gift products on wooden shelves.

Do you have a favorite new product line?

Since I run the shop with my daughter, we’re always on the lookout for motherdaughter companies to support. We recently placed an order from Lynn

and Liana Designs (, a mother-daughter team who make the most beautiful wooden serving boards dipped in epoxy.

Looking back, what’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

To be more intentional about how I use my selling space. If something’s not selling, I get rid of it otherwise it’s just taking up valuable space. I used to sell a

lot of funny greeting cards, but at $2.75 each I started thinking, what could I

put in that area that could generate more income?

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