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Fred and Mary’s: Sustainable home goods store coming to Main St.

A home goods store will be opening its doors on Main St. this fall, with a mission of providing the community a place to spruce up its living room collections with affordable, sustainable, and ethical furniture.

“Fun, whimsical, and magical” is how the owner of Fred and Mary’s described the aesthetic of her new small business.

Carolyn Fredericks outside Fred and Mary's on Main St. / Carolyn Fredericks

“Because we are sourcing things that are sustainably and ethically made, a lot of those brands are making products that are really organic and natural, classic … in the sense that it's a piece you could keep in your home for many years, and it's not going to go out of style,” Carolyn Fredericks said. “They’re pieces that are meant to be used for a very long time rather than having to constantly replace – so, very well made.”

She continued, adding, “What we want to show people is that you can buy pieces that are well made, that are classic, that are sustainable, but they don't have to look like it.”

Fredericks' vision for Fred and Mary’s came to life when she moved to Kingston Springs from New York City eight years ago. But her passion for sustainable living was born far before that.

Fredericks obtained her master's degree in international development, and always dreamed of working for a big organization like the United Nations. And while she achieved that dream, she said she discovered “there are so many other ways that we as a global society can operate differently in a way that not only ensures we're not being harmful to vulnerable communities, but that we can do things in a way that actually supports their growth.”

“What I really want to be doing is working with westerners to open our eyes a little bit to how we can be living differently, changing our lifestyles a little bit in a way that can create some of that more transformative, long term change for us as a global community,” she said.

The idea for Fred and Mary’s was born with Fredericks’ best friend and former Kingston Springs resident, Caroline Walkup. Walkup’s first name is Mary, so the name of the store is a play on their two names, which “insinuates this older couple.”

“We do like to consider them a version of our future selves as people, and when we're a couple of decades further into life, how do we want to be living and what kind of legacy do we want to be leaving behind? And what can we be doing now to set us up for that? So we think about Fred and Mary being this really cool older couple who have embraced slow living and really have made a lifestyle out of that,” Fredericks said.

One goal of the new home goods store is to “offer a wide variety of price range, because historically, shopping in a sustainable way has been expensive.”

“The more commonplace it is to shop items like this, the easier it will be for these brands to eventually lower their prices,” Fredericks said. “But for right now, I'm really intentionally selecting pieces that are something that is on a price range and that maybe not everyone can do, but to then offer a piece next to it that someone else could do, because otherwise what's the point?”

“Shopping sustainably shouldn't just be for someone who is in a certain tax bracket,” she said. “What I'm trying to do is get these pieces into people's homes that otherwise may not be even seeking them out.”

In addition to homewares, the store will also offer a refill station with four home cleaning products as well as a zero waste product station. Residents will no longer have to drive to Nashville to refill their dish soap or laundry detergent. The zero waste station will offer compostable sponges and dish cloths so those in the community can start using sustainable products in their home on a more regular basis.

Fred and Mary’s has been a dream of Fredericks for years, so why finally now? The mother of two young girls said that “there’s a lot coming for this little town,” and her and her family are excited to be a part of the growth.

“There's a lot of good things coming and I was so excited to see Alma Yoga and Movement,” she said. “I love Turnbull. I’ve been so excited to see their growth.”

“There are so many young families that have moved out here. It's so such a variety of people that make up this amazing town. And so I think that how quiet the street has been has been an injustice to how great and cool the people of this town are,” Fredericks said.

The new small business owner has been so inspired by the others on Main St. who have paved the path for her and been successful in their ventures.

“It just inspired me to have the confidence to feel like yes, this is where I can plant my feet and have a home,” Fredericks said.

“It's absolutely a great risk to be taking … I hope that this is a knock on effect from SKYKING, Turnbull, Alma, me and on to the next, and I want to say to whoever is reading this who has been sitting on an idea for a small business: consider this your sign to put those wheels in motion and come and talk to me,” Fredericks said. “I would love to share my experience and brainstorm together.”

“I just think this town is so full of creativity and inspiration and talent and passion and not just in the music industry,” she continued, concluding, “But the sky's the limit, so I'm just excited to see what other opportunities are out to open up.”



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