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Mother and daughters open Oliver Spings gift shop | Community Spirit

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Mother and daughters open Oliver Spings gift shop
Mother and daughters open Oliver Spings gift shop

An Oliver Springs family wanted a place close by where they could shop for gifts so they opened their own store.

"It's just something we've always loved and always been interested in so it's just a dream come true for us," Sheila Johnson said.

Depending on who you ask, it took either 5 years or 7 years for that dream to become an actual store in Oliver Springs.

"This came open and available in our community which was our main goal is making our community the best that it can be and offering awesome things for the people who live here," Ashlee Korte said.

Sheila Johnson and her daughters Ashlee and Blaklee came up with an idea for a family business.

"I just love decorating and I love having nice things and making my home as nice as I can make it and I just remember calling my mom and saying we have to open a gift shop. And mom was like you now what I've been thinking that same thing. Then we talked with my sister Blaklee and he said that was awesome," Korte said.

Sheila Johnson said, "We just have a lot of favorite little stores that we've been to in different cities and there was really nothing in our area. There's really not a good place to go pick up a baby gift or a wedding gift or that kind of thing."

But what should they call it...

"Love the Johnson Girls," she said. "Blaklee actually came up with that part."

Mom and the two daughters have always been known as The Johnson Girls and that seemed like a good name for the store. Then Ashlee had an inspiration at 2:00 in the morning.

"We love Christmas and that little song 'Merry and Bright' that says may your days be merry and bright were just in my head and I thought, you know, we could just be merry and bright all year around," she said.

It is the family's first retail endeavor. The daughters have always worked in education.

Right now Merry and Bright is open a few days a week and by appointment. Most of the inventory comes from vendors in Atlanta while Ashlee handles the custom embroidery.

"It seems like just about every person who walks in the door leaves with a candle. For me it's picture frames because I live pictures and cover my house in pictures," Korte said.

It's a picture perfect business for a family who loves to decorate and shop.

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