Shop Small Business Saturday

You know them well, the big box stores that pop up all over the country offering their mass-produced wares at discount prices that bring customers to their doors in droves. And while they certainly have their benefits, these marketplace moguls make it hard to keep a distinct sense of place, as they seem to be the same regardless of where they are, blurring our perceptions of what sets one town apart from the next.

It’s the small businesses that stand in direct opposition to that, the tiny treasures that add color, life, and uniqueness to local communities. These are the places that have been built out of hard work, passion, and love. They’re the epitome of the American dream, these independently owned shops, service providers, and restaurants that line the streets and welcome customers with a warm smile and a personal greeting. They’re the backbone of the local economy, the heart and soul of the business community, the very thing that makes one city different from the next. Without these small businesses, communities would lack differentiation and character, bleeding into the landscape of corporate America as just another faceless place on the map.

It’s important, then, to realize all that local small businesses provide in our daily lives. They offer us meals unlike any we could find anywhere else, serving us recipes that have been passed down from generations. They craft beautiful pieces of art that no factory could replicate. They provide us with personal care and attention, keeping our homes running smoothly and our cars on the road. These are the faces of hometown America, and even as we depend on them, they depend on us. Without our support, these small businesses would cease to exist, closing the doors on their dreams and fading into the background as a distant memory of what once made our local communities so special.

“Small businesses play such a crucial role in enhancing the city, but what makes our business successful is that the people come to support us,”

says 26 year-old Luci Armitstead, owner of Miss Lucille’s in Clarksville. As the daughter of entrepreneurs herself, starting up a family owned and operated business has always been a goal for Armistead; and she’s made that dream a reality by opening not only the chic little boutique market of all things unique that she calls Miss Lucille’s, but also in running lunchtime hotspot Miss Lucille’s Café and the venue space she created with The Belle Hollow. “We couldn’t survive without our customers; and one of our greatest goals, as small business owners, is to add something special to the community we serve. We’re needed here, because we give the city a bit of soul.”

“When you shop at a small business, you get to deal with someone who lives there, someone who’s personally invested in the interests of the community,”

says Creekside Farm Antiques and Restoration owner Bob Sumner, who runs the shop with his wife Frances. Having come to the area in 1968, Bob has owned his own succession of small businesses in the community and knows well the value of the local dollar. “Supporting small, locally-owned businesses means supporting the community, and I shop that way as often as I can.”

“I truly believe that small businesses can be thought of as the bloodline to the heart of the community,”

says Jody Isaacs, owner of Journey’s Eye Studio. Offering a wide array of unique lighting fixtures and fantastic pieces of furniture as well as home styling services and custom-built furnishings, Journey’s Eye is a journey for the imagination, and Jody and her partner, Steve Tyrrell, have taken their own adventurous journey to open their studio to the town they’ve grown to love. “There is an investment of finance and goodwill into the community, and we participate and support our local small businesses anyway we can. I feel we really look out for each other. The welcome and support we’ve seen from the people of Clarksville has been tremendous, and we wouldn’t be here without the growing relationships we’ve created with each of our customers.”

As the busy holiday shopping season approaches, take time to show your appreciation for the local businesses in the Clarksville area. Stop in to see what they have to offer and remind them how much they matter. After all, you love your city for a reason, and these small businesses are the very heartbeat of the city you love so much.

Miss Lucille’s Marketplace

{Photos by Courtney Zenner Photography}

Luci Armitstead grew up focused on the idea of owning her own business and letting her creativity take flight, and she does just that—in triplicate. As is so clearly evident in Miss Lucille’s Marketplace, Miss Lucille’s Café, and The Belle Hollow, this business-minded Southern belle is somewhat an old soul, taking her customers a walk down memory lane in a vintage-inspired shop that offers an eclectic array of home furnishings and accessories as well as design services. At the Café, diners can tuck into a tasty lunch, while The Belle Hollow provides the perfect space to host an event.

Miss Lucille’s Marketplace is located at 2231-L Madison Street, Clarksville Tennessee 37403. Open Monday- Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.; Sunday 11:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Café hours are Monday- Saturday 9:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. For more information, call (931) 869-1700 for the Marketplace, (931) 919-5050 for the Cafe, and (931) 919-4900 for The Belle Hollow or visit

Creekside Farm Antiques and Restoration

Offering English and American antique furnishings and accessories from the 18th and 19th century, Creekside Farm Antiques and Restoration preserves a piece of history and gives today’s market something unique, beautiful, and artfully made. It’s a point of pride that owners Bob and Frances Sumner have successfully built their business on, opening the doors of their tucked-away treasure trove to the Clarksville community in 2014 in hopes of providing their customers with pieces that would find new life in new homes where their beauty and charm would be loved and appreciated. Bob’s masterful abilities in furniture restoration are also a big draw, and the local community has come to rely on him for bringing new antique finds as well as family heirlooms back to their former glory.

Creekside Farm Antiques and Restoration is located at 1057 Belmont Rd

Clarksville, TN 37040. Open Tuesday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and by appointment on Saturdays. For more information, call (931) 648-2540 or visit

Journey’s Eye Studio

Having come to the Clarksville area from Boston while they were searching for the perfect place to set up shop and open Journey’s Eye Studio, Jody Isaacs and Steve Tyrrell knew they’d found exactly what they were looking for when they spent some time in the charming community they now call home. The design studio and retail space they run in downtown Clarksville offers their talents in all things décor and design, from personal and commercial interior design services to custom made furniture. They truly light up for lighting, as well, and the pair offers clients industrial lighting and furniture made by Steve’s skilled hands.

Journey’s Eye Studio is located at 131 Franklin Street, Clarksville, Tennessee 37040. Open Tuesday- Wednesday 10:00 a.m. -6:00 p.m.; Thursday- Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 9:00 p.m. For more information, call (617) 901-3374 or visit