Last year we did a feature on an adorable flower and gift shop in the Fort Mill area, known as "Crossings on Main." Unfortunately, when we redesigned our website we lost that article, but we've been able to find our notes and reconstruct the featured article and we'd like to share it with you.
1. Can you tell me who owns Fort Mill Flowers & Gifts and a little background about the owner(s) and how they came to the decision to build a flower and gift shop?
I am the owner, Cathie Smith, but it hasn't always been that way. My mother in law, Gail Lavender, and I opened "Crossings" 25 years ago. My husband's family has been in Fort Mill since he was in elementary school and I loved the town so setting up a business here in the historic downtown seemed natural.
Things started to fall into place when Jerry Lavender, Gail’s husband, owned this adorable building on the bottom of Main Street that became open. I was a stay at home mom at the time and was looking for something to do, so we decided to open a little store and sell antiques. That was the beginning of great things! We needed accessories and gifts which led to going to The Atlanta Gift Market (which is overwhelming especially for first-timers!) We painted the walls, brought in antiques for displays and even bought a monogram machine. After a few years, I decided to stay home full time with my two girls and Gail kept the business going for 20 years! When Gail retired I decided to keep the store open with the promise of help from my husband, Chip Smith.
2. Where did the name, Fort Mill Flowers & Gifts come from?
The name comes from our proximity to the railroad track, which runs through the center of town. Some days we get 5-6 trains going by, blowing their horns so loud you have to cover your ears! One day we saw the Barnum and Bailey circus train go by on their last performance tour.
3. Has Fort Mill been open and welcoming to your new business?
The growth of the business was steady for the first 20 years. Some years were better than others and I credit Gail with great perseverance for staying open during the recession. Businesses have had a hard time staying open on Main Street but finally, we are seeing some real growth and that is exciting. The restaurants and bars have brought life back to our town. It is now a destination spot. I think people want what we have to offer and more is on the way! We could not stay in business if customers didn't choose to come here for dining and shopping and for that I am so grateful.
4. Do you plan on expanding either in your current building or to other future stores?
I am constantly changing our inventory and displays. There is always something new and fresh to see. The thing I love to hear from our customers is that they find inspiration and happiness inside our doors. That is my goal, to create beauty and offer items that bring customers joy to give or receive. I don't have any plans to open another store because this one takes all my time, but you never know! I couldn't run this place alone, I have a wonderful store manager, Keith Suttles, and 2 very loyal employees who treat Crossings as their own. My husband, Chip handles the accounting and advertising.
Thank you so much to Cathie for the time she took in answering our questions. I hope you will take the time to visit their shop and tell them that the Linda Hall Team sent you. It is definitely a Fort Mill Treasure!!