My Blog

Archive - November 2000

21.07 20140

“The Way We Worked” Smithsonian Exhibit

This weekend, a really interesting traveling exhibit by the Smithsonian made its way to Pell City, AL. "The Way We Worked" is on display at the Pell City Center until August 23. You should come out and see it! Pell City was natural choice because of our history. We do not have a museum of our own, but we have an active interest in both our past and the future.  In the article linked above, Pam Foote is hoping that this exhibit will be a springboard for a museum in Pell City. It might be a great way to stoke interest in the regional heritage that makes us so great! A lot of interesting furniture has been made from repurposed items that lived another life as work items around mills, factories, and farms. These vintage items might be kept as-is, and simply preserved. Sometimes the wood is salvaged and made into something entirely different. Either way, a bit of history is preserved. Here's an example of a light fixture made from salvaged wood at Lilly Designs, A Design Resource. Just think, this wood could be sitting in a landfill, rotting. But instead it's a beautiful piece just waiting to add personality to someone's home. Salvaged wood slat pendant light (blue tint) This piece is in my showroom in Pell City. It's a refurbished cart being used as a coffee table now. It was most likely used in an old mill. Pell City's industrial history is a treasure trove for decorators! coffee table   In addition to my normal items, I carry unfurbished and refurbished items. It's interesting and responsible to repurpose these items, and they're great talking pieces, too. I can always find you that perfect item you're looking for to add that touch of history and interest to your living space. You should visit the exhibit in Pell City, then take a stop by my shop to continue to be inspired by the voices of the past!      

read more
09.06 20140

Revitalization of Downtowns

The face of America is changing. Small towns that cropped up around industries that have moved on, now have to find other ways to keep the community from falling apart. ghost town     Large cities have lost once vibrant urban centers because of corruption, crime, and poverty. Detroit used to the "The Renaissance City." detroit   The trend of moving to the suburbs and leaving these centers of community is starting to reverse, though. People are realizing that community is impossible without a concentration of people working hard together. There are a number of movements that can help a community. Green space, like a garden can do wonders to improve a city's livability. Just look at our neighbor, Birmingham, and Railroad Park. An ugly concrete crime-riddled part of town is now a beautiful green space that attracts visitors from all over. railroad park   Pell City needs to look to other successful urban revitalization projects and find what works for us. We need more events, attractions, and business. We need to shop locally, instead of driving elsewhere to get what we need. Instead of looking at Birmingham's renewal as a competition, we need to figure out how to capitalize on that and become another success story for Alabama. In the recent Discover St. Clair, there's a spot on Lilly Designs and City Market, which is a rebranding effort on my part in this very spirit. I looked at what Pell City is missing in terms of commerce, and did my best to try and fill that niche. We need more foot traffic in the beautiful downtown area. Cogswell Avenue needs to be a place of vibrancy and life, but it takes vision and commitment from many people to make a change like this happen. It doesn't happen overnight, and we don't need to give up. I believe Pell City can be a wonderful attraction, but it's vital that the residents make the commitment to their home first.   Downtown-Pell-City-St-Clair-County-Courthouse-banner      

read more
19.05 20140

Fourth Friday for May 2014

Fourth friday May 2014   Don't miss out! This Friday from 5:30-8 PM. We've got some new stuff going on, including a Pony Party where kids can paint, braid, and brush pony's hair! Great music with Carly Black, Shannon Hawkins, and Brantley Gernheart. Special guests Paul Manning and Ron Crumpton. There will be great fun, food, and family entertainment for all, so come out and SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY!

read more
21.03 20142

Design Resource and City Market


Pell City has so much to offer, and we're working every day on making it a better place to live and do business. There is a public garden in the works. We've got the monthly 4th Friday showcasing local businesses. We've got a rich active community that I am proud to be a part of.

That's a big reason why I am proud to announce that my store in Pell City is undergoing some changes. A local artist, Susan Wall, has moved in with me, to showcase her art. I also have decided to change the name of that store to "Design Resource and City Market." Part of what prompted this change is the fact that too many people come into my store and think it's simply a showroom for my design business. While I do like to feature my style, I also have a retail business that most people aren't really aware of. I love shopping to get that perfect item, and if you browse my store you're sure to find a gift item, that perfect decorative accent, some new jewelry, and more! I'm going to start carrying more "market" type items to reflect the wishes of the community, too. Tonight I'm having an artist's reception for Susan Wall, and to showcase a lot of these changes that I believe will not only be great for Lilly Designs, but for Pell City in general. We need more robust retail business to revitalize our hometown, and I'm excited to be a part of that. Come and join us tonight from 6-9 PM!    

read more
04.03 20140

Time to Garden!

Let's face it - winter has been brutal this year. It has been cold, and there have been several cold storms that the South wasn't ready for. So almost everyone is ready for the green and new life that spring brings. Some people are forcing their bulbs to bloom right now to bring a little life into their world.

force tulips


This particular indoor garden is a little ray of sunshine in the middle of the winter.

winter garden

  A terrarium is a nice splash of green that would brighten up any room.  


Or perhaps this set of wicker trays (available at A Design Resource):

Wicker baskets.jpg

  Some people are getting ready to plant. Even the littlest helpers are excited about new life!

  Planting a garden


If you don't have a lot of space, you can always consider container gardening. herb garden

Look how great this balcony looks. It's a little oasis in the middle of a city.

balcony garden

The city of Pell City is working towards a community garden. I am on the planning committee and we're working on possibilities. As with any public work, we've got a number of issues to work through, including funding and plans. I'm very excited about the potential to bring some beauty to downtown Pell City!


Most of all, though, it's time for SPRING and LIFE and RENEWAL!  I love this time of year for so many reasons! What's your favorite part of spring? Do you have any plans for a garden or to add some green into your life?


read more
25.11 20131

Santa Claus!

Thanks to all who came to see Santa at Lilly Designs, A Design Resource this Friday, as part of the Pell City Fourth Friday event for November. As you can see, we had a great time!   Santa brought along Mrs. Claus. There was even an extra elf there to help out!Santa and crew   Lots of cuties came to sit in Santa's lap: Santa and a cutie! I hope he was a good boy this year! Santa takes a wish list. Mrs. Claus spent some time with the kids while they waited. Mrs. Claus again  Mrs. Claus loves kids, too! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule, Santa and Mrs. Claus! Let's look forward to a great holiday season in 2013! The Clauses at Lilly Designs, A Design Resource

read more
22.11 20130

November’s Fourth Friday in Pell City!

Tonight, we're going to have a great time in Pell City, AL. It's all the great fun of a normal Fourth Friday, with something special...

Fourth friday Nov 2013

Santa will be visiting Lilly Designs, A Design Resource in downtown! Don't miss it!


read more
30.09 20130

4th Friday in Pell City, Alabama

Pell City, Alabama, has a lot of small town charm and appeal. My office is right in the middle of the downtown, on Cogswell Avenue. I get to interact with some amazing people every week. J. Cobb Designs sells beautiful handcrafted artisan jewelry down the street. Doodlebugs sells boutique clothing and gift items. Other businesses bring a lot of vibrancy to our neighborhood.

Every 4th Friday, the Pell City Chamber, in conjunction with several downtown businesses, including Lilly Designs, holds an event to bring the community together, spotlight these businesses, and generally have a lot of fun. We have bands playing, dancers and other forms of entertainment. People can get henna tattoos, see a car show, all while discovering local art and eating food from local vendors. It’s a great way to get out and get to know the community while strengthening our economic base.

buy local

We had another successful 4th Friday on September 27th! Here's the flyer so you can see what you missed if you didn't come:

Sep 2013

4th Fridays have a great impact on the sense of community in Pell City. People get to know their hometown better by visiting vendors in a fun, low stress situation. Tourists can see what the city has to offer, as well. The more aesthetically attractive we can make the downtown, the better, because that brings locals and visitors to shop downtown. The downtown shops need this kind of exposure, so that people are more likely to consider local sources, rather than take their business to another city.

Live Mannequins at Monkey Bizness in Pell City

Live Mannequins at Monkey Bizness on a previous 4th Friday.
Photo courtesy 4th Friday Committee.
  Towns like Pell City are beginning to revive. It’s happening all over the state, and it’s vital for communities to get together and support one another.  I found a great article about this very topic in the Times Daily. The last paragraph, in particular, strikes home:
“The offerings of a downtown can be as varied as the creative and innovative people who are willing to risk opening a business. The municipal governments and business interests of each town in the Shoals should work together to help grow and sustain strong downtown districts that instill community pride.”  
So come out and join us on 4th Fridays! Stop by and say hello!  

read more