Step into Cotton Row Uniques, and you will find yourself in a carefully curated store filled with antique furniture, intriguing decor, cool gifts, vintage jewelry and a fun touch in every corner! Located in the heart of East Memphis, this charming little boutique has had a significant impact on the city. Only one year after opening, Cotton Row Uniques was voted Best Antiques Store, Best Gift Shop and Best Home Furnishings in Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis 2019. The store was also selected as a favorite in the Best Gift Boutique category by readers of the Commercial Appeal in the 2019 Memphis Most promotion. After just a few minutes of conversation with the owners, Shane Waldroup and Scott Barnes, it’s easy to see why!

Cotton Row Uniques

Walking into Cotton Row Uniques is a feast for the senses! There’s so much to see and touch, and a delightful fragrance from scented candles always fills the air.

Sign- Cotton Row Uniques

Scott and Shane offer lots of lively, fun items for the home — like this cute sign.

Shane and Scott owned multiple booths at La Maison Antiques for over a year before deciding to take the plunge by opening a store of their own, in September 2018. Shane ended a more than 25-year career in the medical industry to run Cotton Row Uniques; Scott continues to work full time in information technology for a local third-party administrator. He’s in the store in the evenings and on weekends, keeps the software up to date and keeps track of the inventory. “It makes a nice outlet for me,” he says. “Plus, he is the store’s antiques guru,” adds Shane. “He’s always had a passion for antiques and can tell almost immediately where and when a piece is from. And he has an eye for rare pieces.”

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Rarity is what the store owners strive to offer their customers. They don’t want all of their clients to have the same look, so they steer clear of big volume purchases. Instead, they search for unique items that tell a story.

Navajo elements- Cotton Row Uniques

A Navajo Menorah, by Native American artist Lucy Leuppe McKelvey, combines traditional Navajo elements with Judaic imagery to create a rare, one-of-a-kind piece. “We pick out every piece we offer,” says Scott. “And every piece has a history, so our customers are not just buying furniture or a decorative item — they are buying memories.”

The inventory is continually evolving. Scott and Shane go to market every six months in Atlanta, Las Vegas and Dallas. To cast an even wider net, they source goods from across the nation. They bring back the vintage, antique, industrial, shabby chic and collectible items other stores may not carry. They enjoy the hunt for new products so much that they often find themselves searching even when they are on vacation. “We’ve been known to pull a U-Haul around,” says Shane. “It’s a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun. And the work pays off in seeing our customers happy.”

Turkish Rugs- Cotton Row Uniques

Turkish rugs are an incredible find. Scott and Shane have gone on buying trips to Europe to find one-of-a-kind, authentic pieces.

Terre De Pisa- Cotton Row Uniques

Here we have china from Italy, exclusively handmade for Cotton Row Uniques by Terre de Pisa. The lemons are so gorgeous! “The makers can personalize it for our clients,” says Scott. “It’s very popular with our brides.”

Terre De Pisa china for children

Terre de Pisa makes this line of children’s china just for Cotton Row Uniques. Look at the cute teacups with two handles for little hands!

A pleased customer is the goal. “I love seeing people happy in their homes,” Shane says. “It was such a joy to decorate my own home, and I want that for our customers.”

The duo loves to offer advice on selecting classic staple pieces and mixing styles, but say they want people who walk through the door to feel comfortable — so you won’t find them hovering. Shane says they’ll ask a few questions, but they let customers walk through, touch, look and enjoy the space. Clients are welcome to take a piece home on approval to make sure it fits in with their style.

The store is not huge, but there are plenty of options from which to choose. Smaller decorative pieces and gift items can be found downstairs. China is displayed in beautifully lit cabinets in the back,while gourmet food items line one side; jewelry and handbags are along another. Upstairs, you can find comfy couches, vintage chairs, classic tables and fabulous light fixtures.

chandeliers and furniture- Cotton Row Uniques

A beautiful assortment of furniture is upstairs, along with wall art, table decor, and cushions. The chandeliers are stunning, and you are sure to find a style that complements your home!

Lamps- Cotton Row Uniques

Lamps and larger glass pieces will brighten up a room. Lamps are one of the best sellers, and we can see why!

pillows- Cotton Row Uniques

You’ll find lots of pillows to accent any color palette. How cute is the bear with glasses?

Cotton Row Uniques customers are an eclectic, diverse bunch, coming from Midtown and East Memphis, Germantown and Collierville, Arkansas and Mississippi. “We get cotton farmers from the Mississippi delta coming through quite often,” says Shane. “Maybe they were first attracted by the name, but they are very loyal customers.”

The name pays homage to Shane’s father, who was in the textile industry in North Carolina, and Scott’s family, who were in the cotton business in Mississippi. Both relish their Southern roots and have called Memphis home since the mid-1990s. Although they initially had no intention of being a gift shop, the store has evolved into a specialty boutique. “Customers from the tri-state area came in for the few gift items we did offer, and we’d hear the comment that no one else had anything like our pieces,” said Shayne. The store has expanded, and their candles, jewelry and gourmet food items are among the best sellers.

Bourbon-infused treats- Cotton Row Uniques

What Southern kitchen is complete without gourmet goodies like Old Forester’s line of Bourbon-infused treats?

Pottery collection- Cotton Row Uniques

We love the beautiful greens, blues and neutrals in the pottery collection from Satterfield’s in Oxford, MS.

Branded pet frame- Cotton Row Uniques

“Our branded photo frames are quite popular,” says Shane. “This one is perfect for someone who has lost a beloved pet.”

Upcycled purses and jewelry

Incredible upcycled purses and jewelry from Louis Vuitton and Gucci are very popular. The chunky leather bracelets will look amazing with sweaters this fall!

Now that there is finally a hint of coolness in the air, the shop is getting ready for fall. What treats are in store for the spookiest of holidays?

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“The retro look is huge this year,” says Scott. “The look reflects childhood for a certain age group, and it is a fun theme to play with.” There are cool witches, not-so-scary jack-o-lanterns and ghosts, and paper-mâché Halloween figurines haunting the store.

Halloween decor- Cotton Row Uniques

According to Scott, retro-looking witches are, surprisingly, one of the most popular fall decor items leading up to Halloween. We love this one, sitting atop her pumpkin!

Paper-måché figures- Cotton Row Uniques

Papier-mâché figures such as this happy jack-o-lantern will liven up your Halloween decor.

A Halloween Ghost

This little ghost is way too cute to be scary!

Looking ahead, the vintage look will be in demand for Christmas. “We’re seeing classic and traditional elements with red and green, or a rustic French country theme,” Scott says. Incorporating paper-mâché figurines — this time of Jolly Old St. Nick — will be a big seller for the festive season.

For now, Cotton Row Uniques is decking the halls for autumn and basking in the pride of capturing the hearts of Memphis!

A fall-ready store!

The store is ready for fall with this gorgeous floral arrangement — an immediate eye-catcher!

Cotton Row Uniques is located at 4615 Poplar Avenue, Suite 3, Memphis, TN 38117. Their hours are Tuesday and Wednesday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Learn more at cottonrowuniques.com or by calling (901)590-3647.

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