In Vinings Jubilee, down a pink brick path and through green glass doors, Atlanta shoppers will find a homestore of a different color: Waiting on Martha Home. Despite looking like an effortlessly curated land of home decor and gifts, Waiting on Martha Home’s Mandy Kellogg Rye did a lot more than simply click her heels together three times to make her store a reality. Between years of operating pop-up shops around the city and days of researching traffic patterns and best-sellers, Mandy knew exactly what it would take to open a store of her own. Her flagship store, Waiting on Martha Home, is the living, breathing embodiment of just that. Move over Dorothy, there’s a new heroine in town.
Mandy is a self-proclaimed “shop girl,” and with five years of blogging and retail under her belt, she was keeping her eyes peeled for the perfect location for her brick-and-mortar shop. In fact, the location for Waiting on Martha Home was more of a catalyst than anything else. As a big believer in fate, Mandy knew the stars had to align … and align they did. “I always knew my shop would look like a home and would feel like a home when you walked in. This just felt right. When we came to tour the space, the woman who met us used to work with Anthony, my husband. The code for the front door was Anthony’s birthday. Everything was just weirdly right.”
Once the lease was signed, Mandy got to work. Waiting on Martha Home’s house-like design is part of what makes the shopping experience unique. Walking through the quaint French doors is like walking into a welcoming, colorful foyer. To your right, you’ll find a large marble-topped checkout station. Handmade by Mandy’s father, the station almost feels like a kitchen island, especially with the store’s beverage bar located near it. To the left of the front doors, you’re drawn into the heart of the store, which is flanked by two pale blue sofas and a beaded chandelier hanging overhead. Visitors will find a long “dining” table filled with tabletop and party accessories. A fireplace, also renovated by Mandy’s dad, showcases local artwork, while a navy lacquered gaming table rests in a nook. The light-filled back room, with its pretty patterned floor tile and quartet of gossip chairs, feels like a picture-perfect sunroom. You’ll even notice an upbeat playlist softly playing in the background. The store truly flows like a home, which is exactly the look Mandy was hoping to accomplish.
While the design of the space is incredible, at the end of the day, the items contained within are the stars of the show. “The thing I pride myself on is that you can get a gift for anyone here. You can get a $5 matchbox, or you can design a $5,000 chandelier,” she explains. Shoppers will find trinkets, Juju hats, books, totes and candy. You’ll also be introduced to Waiting on Martha Home’s sister brand, The Well Code, which focuses on everyday wellness, essential oils and all-natural beauty. Items are styled on each surface, even the floor, and Mandy has had a role in choosing every product. “I buy and touch every single thing in my store. No one else does it, and no one else ever will.”
Mandy’s passion is palpable. You find yourself getting excited about an item because she’s getting excited about an item. An oyster plate that you might have overlooked becomes the oyster plate you have to have because she describes in detail the New England artist who crafts each ceramic piece by hand. “I love buying something that I think people will love, and then I love being in the store and seeing someone with it.”
With that mentality in mind, Mandy set out to create a store in which almost everything is shopable. The upholstery items can be customized, the lighting fixtures are available for purchase, too, and the tiny Ooph tables come in a variety of colors. She even made sure to order extra of the brass hardware found on the cabinetry throughout the store, “just in case someone wanted those.” In due time, customers will be able to choose from preselected, Waiting on Martha Home seal-of-approval fabrics for custom upholstery.
Regional art enthusiasts will delight in Waiting on Martha Home’s rotating artist in residence. For the grand opening, Mandy invited Britt Bass, the first artist ever to be featured at one of Mandy’s many pop-ups, to showcase some of her vibrant originals. Britt’s pieces are found on just about every wall in the shop. Later this fall, Mandy will welcome Savannah artist Jessica O’Neill of Art by O’Neill, and the year will wrap-up with one final artist, who will remain a surprise. We’ve been assured we’ll love them.
Mandy’s dreams for her budding store are endless. “I have big plans,” she says. “Garden parties, yoga on the lawn, who knows?” She’s starting to plan for Christmas, is designing a new website and working on multiple community events, and she’s not stopping there. The Vinings location has been dubbed the flagship store, and whether more stores will happen or not, it’s always a possibility. Ultimately, Mandy would love to have a space dedicated to The Well Code, an open styling studio, a commercial kitchen, and even a cafe. “In a dream world, I’d have a giant outlet that served me for the blog, the warehouse side of things and the shop.” Since Mandy has already accomplished so much with Waiting on Martha Home, it doesn’t sound too over the rainbow to us.
Waiting on Martha Home is located at 4300 Paces Ferry Road, Ste. 111, Atlanta, GA 30339. Hours are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Learn more at shopwaitingonmartha.com.
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