After 25 years as an accountant, Teresa Brodie had to decide what to do next.
Keeping her current position would mean moving to St. Louis — something she knew she didn’t want. She is an only child and wanted to stay close to her parents in Athens.
That’s when she says God stepped in to choose for her. She would leave her desk job behind and purchase Pimentos gift shop in Athens.
“Making the leap from a corporate job to owning a gift shop seemed natural,” said Brodie. “My parents were entrepreneurs and I grew up with an appreciation for people operating their own businesses. It was personal—meaningful. Pimentos offered me the chance to stay close to my family and make my dream of entrepreneurship a reality.”
Now, six years after purchasing the business, Brodie and her team have decided to open its next location at Stovehouse’s Gaslight Alley shopping district.
“Stovehouse has been my dream location for some time,” Brodie said. “Once I saw advertisements for the property, I began visiting the site every few months to keep an eye on progress. I’ve wanted to be there before the first restaurant even opened.”
Pimentos opened its doors in March 2004 on the square in Athens. The owner, Shannon Bryant, wanted to develop an oasis for people looking to relax and converse while shopping for the perfect gift.
After years of building Pimentos into a well-known Athens landmark, Bryant stepped down to spend more time with her family.
And Brodie saw the opportunity to carry on her vision and purchased the store in 2014.
“I’ve always wanted to own a shop like Pimentos,” Teresa smiled. “We try to offer much more than unique gifts; although, that’s our specialty. When we get a chance to speak to our customers about what they’re looking for, we begin to know them on a more personal level. We know most of our customers’ children, spouses, friends, and big life events because we build those relationships with each visit. Our guests ultimately become our friends. That’s my favorite part of the retail business.”
During its first 10 years, Pimentos also opened a location at Hampton Cove. Stovehouse, however, will be the first expansion in 16 years for the business; the store is expected to open late this fall or early winter.
“Gaslight Alley is going to be an incredible opportunity for us for many reasons,” Brodie said. “We are most looking forward to becoming a part of the on-campus community. For instance, we can show up at the offices on-site and bring candles and small gifts so they can get to know us.
“We can help them find a gift and have it beautifully wrapped for their loved one by the end of the workday.”