Growing Business

Marshalls find success with
Artful Gifts store in Carrollton

They recently expanded into the adjacent store

CARROLLTON, Ky. (September 2017) – The Siersdorfer building on Main Street in Carrollton, Ky., has been part of Main Street since 1891. Through the years it has been a cornerstone of Carrollton’s commerce, housing a shoe store, a lawyer’s office, a lounge and a hotel to name a few.
Commerce continues with Dinah Marshall’s Artful Gifts. This store moved from Highland Avenue after outgrowing the space to Siersdorfer building June 2015. Recently, an opportunity for expansion presented itself when the owners of the next-door business, Paragon Music, decided to move.
“The idea of expanding was a little scary,” Marshall said. “You never know if it’s going to work. I did know if I didn’t try, I would always wonder whether it would have worked.”
Leaving nothing to wonder, the expansion began. To make the expansion physically possible, remodeling was required to open the old doorways dividing the two shops. The building has lots of character, and the many doors and layout of the rooms are from its former days as a hotel. The building’s many changes have led it to the present day Artful Gifts.

Photo by Rhonda Pennington

Artful Gifts owner Dinah Marshall poses inside her expanded store.

The Marshalls’ journey to Artful Gifts began with her husband, Barry, a skilled wood crafter. They would travel to shows, the Madison Chautauqua Festival of the Arts, the Arts On The Green in La Grange, Ky., and many other festival selling his handcrafted works. People would always ask for their business card saying they would like to call for future orders. They did not expect so many customers to call and want to come to their house to purchase his crafts.
Many people were interested in purchasing more items, and soon the demand for more items created a need for their own shop. That is when Artful Gifts was conceived.
Marshall’s past experiences serve her well at the shop. Her work at Carrollton Office Shop is where she learned how to pack things. This is a skill that she uses frequently. She also worked at Floyd’s Jewelry with the experienced business woman Dorothy Floyd, who taught her through example to always invest back into the business, which she does. It was there she also learned to engrave. Custom engraving is available at the shop.
Then she went to work at the Cornerstone Florist, where she learned to make bows, arrange flowers, display items. Her displays can be seen throughout the shop. At the time she did not know how each of these skills would be so useful in operating her own business.
Artful Gifts offers customers unique one-of-a-kind home décor and gifts. They are a Kentucky Proud member, featuring work from “select” artisans offering items that complement their goods for sale.
Some of the one-of-a-kind items are made by family members. Daughter Jamie Jones says she enjoys working in the shop and etching unique gifts and customizing items for customers. Barry crafts wood from their farm in Carroll County for distinctive cutting boards, rolling pins and bowls.
Dinah showcases her artistic talents, too. She paints barn quilts and customizes each to meet the customers’ décor and tastes. She also offers the lost art of caning and rushing chairs. While she displayed the many beautiful items throughout the store, it was becoming more challenging for the customers to truly see all the items.
The expansion doubled the size of the store, making it easier for customers to view each item. Now customers can meander through the doorways into more rooms offering even more one-of-a-kind treasures. The expansion makes it possible for Marshall to complete more work on-site, freeing more of her time at home while providing customers speedier service for custom orders. This includes onsite engraving to personalize gifts that can be available next day.
Artful Gifts celebrated the expansion with an Aug. 19 open house. It was a festive occasion featuring a coffee bar and giveaways. The owners of Kentucky Mountain Coffee Co., Rick and Jaretta Walters, brought their fall-inspired brews, adding to the fun. The three giveaways were a Kentucky Proud gift basket, a Cork Keeper customized by Jamie Jones, and a handmade Turkish Lamp. The winners were announced through a Facebook live video the Monday after open house. The winner of the Turkish Lamp, Donnetta Rose, said, “It’s an awesome experience in downtown Carrollton. I love to come in and browse, and sometimes I leave a little money.”
Rose said it with a smile, then went to select her Turkish Lamp with brilliant colors looking for one reminiscent of a quilt pattern. More than 200 people came out to enjoy the open house and support a local business.

“My family is my greatest supporters,” Dinah said. “I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, friends and community.”

Back to September 2017 Articles.



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