Local News

Story published: 10-02-2012 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Wedding Loft sold, Artglass for sale

By Lynn J. Richardson
Publisher

Two Jonesborough shopkeepers, eager to move into new phases of their lives, say they are ready to leave their downtown businesses and the everyday work world behind.

Wedding Loft owner Patti Lewis is already well on her way to having the free time she has longed for. Lewis, who has owned and operated the business for 13 years, says the time is right for her to do something different.

She has found a buyer for the business and is busy getting everything in order to hand over the wedding company.

“I’m tired,” Lewis said. “I’m worn out. I’m here every day seven days a week.”

During her years with the business, Lewis estimates she has done close to 700 weddings.

“That’s a lot of weddings,” she said.

When Lewis turns over the key to the store, she will also be turning over ownership of her cat, Lily, to the new owners.

“They’re cat lovers, too,” Lewis said. “So Lily will get to stay home.”

The 7-year-old former shelter kitty has become the store mascot and can often be found lounging in the front windows of the building.

Lewis, who has two large dogs at home, knew that would be no place for Lily. But Lewis plans to see her often, she says.

New owners Ben Dean, of Greeneville, and Dawn Heaton, of Jonesborough, were expected to officially take over Oct. 1 and will reopen as Team Bridal Event & Wedding Loft.

The two currently own and operate Team Bridal of Greeneville. The company has a Tri-Cities team that works with about 20 vendors and various venues in the region.

“We’re thrilled to death to be coming to Jonesborough,” Dean said. “This will give us a permanent spot to offer a venue of our own to brides.

“We will be doing some housekeeping stuff at the location in Jonesborough, so we may not have it ready for a little while, but we’ll be ready to take bookings immediately, not only for weddings, but for Christmas and birthday parties and various other events.”

Dean is also the owner of Big Time Entertainment and is a fulltime disc jockey. His wife, Angela, is a certified wedding planner and coordinator.

Heaton’s experience is in the food and catering industry. She has owned Tusculum Eatery in Greeneville since 1997.

Lewis will still be spending some of her time downtown with plans to continue the operation of her horse and carriage business, Equine Elegance.

Just down the street, Jonesborough Art Glass Gallery owner Steve Cook has his business up for sale.

“We’d just like to free ourselves up to travel and explore other creative avenues,” Cook said.

After 33 years of running the store, Cook says he hopes to sell the business, “wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling,” including all of the inventory, store fixtures, contact lists and the like.

“We’d like to find a new young couple who comes to town and wants to own their own gallery,” he said. “We’d like to just hand over the key and be here to help make it a smooth transition.”

Cook declined to discuss the asking price for the business. He did, however, say he and his wife, Teva, plan on still doing custom orders.

“We would still like to remain as artists in the gallery and still be easy to find for custom work,” Cook said.

“We just want to have the time to reinvent ourselves.”