Sometimes the similarities between a mother and daughter are uncanny.
Enter Sandra Brooks and Holly Isserstedt. The mother and daughter both grew up in Mississippi and left the state as adults. Brooks was a single mother most of her daughter’s life, and Isserstedt is now a single mom with two children living in Norcross.
While they've pursued separate careers, the two have worked together on and off, in Brooks' own marketing company and side-by-side at coffee shops. They've also had the same profession at different times: Isserstedt has been teaching at numerous schools in the metro Atlanta area for the last 15 years, and Brooks is a former educator.
After some time apart, Brooks most recently moved from Florida to Suwanee to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. Now the mother and daughter are putting on their business hats and opening their own shop right in Historic Downtown Norcross called Farmhouse 17.
Farmhouse 17 is an eclectic home goods store that will carry an assortment of items, from furniture and specialty foods to jewelry and antiques. Taking over the previous Home Norcross building at 138 Holcomb Bridge Rd., Farmhouse 17 will officially debut with a soft opening in mid-March, and its grand opening is planned for June.
"The idea for Farmhouse 17 is a compilation of years and years of both of our experiences, both personal and business," said Brooks. "When we sat down to plan what business we wanted to open, it was important that we included the things that are important to us both…. protecting the environment, creativity and fun experiential learning, sharing interesting personal stories, assisting other entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and promoting a healthy lifestyle."
Brooks and Isserstedt rolled their wishlist into the shop's inventory that they call "(re)purposeful living." The business will feature one-of-a-kind re-purposed furniture and accessories, antiques and collectibles, organic foods, gifts, party supplies, and children and baby items.
For furniture, expect to see old and new items alike. Brooks lists a 1919 library card file chest and a 1930's porch swing made from a picket fence as two of the antiques that the store will have at the opening.
And more current creations, such as products from REpurposingNola, will be in stock, too. The New Orleans-based line makes chic designer goods from discarded material such as burlap bags and hotel upholstery fabric.
The jewelry carried in store will be original pieces designed by Brooks herself. Her line, the Sandra Brooks Collection, has been worn by a number of celebrities, was featured at the 2011 Golden Globes, and is sold in jewelry stores and boutiques in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida. She describes her jewelry as being one-of-a-kind statement pieces made from an variety of materials including jade, gemstones, pearls and leather.
In the food department, different businesses will have their groceries on sale at Farmhouse 17, but the Norcross store also will feature fresh items straight from its on-location organic garden. Brooks said they will offer the food at the Norcross Farmers Market in the spring, too.
Another unique food feature is that they will host Moveable Feasts, which involves serving a five-course meal around a community table of acquaintances.
In every dinner, the courses will be prepared using produce from a specific Georgia farm. For example, the first Moveable Feast will highlight Washington Strawberry Farm in Watkinsville, and guests will be given a brief presentation of the farm, plus strawberries to take home.
"Warning: It might be impossible to ever buy strawberries from the grocery every again," said Brooks.
With the number of different items that Farmhouse 17 will carry, it sounds like the new Norcross addition will have a little bit of everything for everyone.
Are you looking forward to the new home goods store? Tell us in the comments.
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