By Rachel Madison
Tami Spearman never expected to own a small-town gift shop. In fact, she had a career as an English teacher at Liberty Hill High School and even earned a master’s degree in curriculum before she realized she wanted to do something different.
After taking a short break from teaching — and getting a little inspiration from some friends — Spearman realized she wanted to open a boutique gift shop.
“My best friends were going overseas to be missionaries,” she said. “It got me thinking about my mission field. I’m not one to go overseas, so I decided on a local mission field. My circle of friends were all Christians at church. I thought, ‘What if I opened a store and that would be my mission field?’ I would meet new people and get to love on them and that would be my mission field for the community.”
Spearman started looking for a place, but got discouraged when she couldn’t find one along State Highway 29, where she knew she wanted to set up shop. Although discouragement had set in, Spearman didn’t give up. And that’s when she noticed the house where her store, Simply Home Décor & More, is located today.
“This house was kind of overgrown,” she said. “You didn’t even notice it. You could pass it and never even know, but something caught my eye. When I first came up to it, it didn’t even have a front door. But I called my husband and told him I found a place. It needed lots of love, so we gave it lots of love.”
Spearman, along with her husband, did all the remodeling. They knocked a wall down here, did some cleaning and painting there, and even consciously left the cabinets and countertops in the kitchen—all things that would bring character to Spearman’s store when she opened. Now the cheery yellow storefront seems to call to customers as they pass by—and years of success has meant Spearman has had to add a room onto the shop and build a garage in the back for storage.
Spearman is now gearing up to celebrate Simply Home’s fifth anniversary on Oct. 2. Spearman says the store will celebrate the occasion throughout that entire week. Although the store is closed Oct. 2—it always is on Mondays—from Oct. 3-6, there will be daily door prizes, special sales announced via social media, and snacks and drinks from 2-6 p.m. On Oct. 7, the store will have a much larger celebration that will include free lunch for the community, a fall display set up with a photographer on site to take family photos, and goody bags for customers.
Spearman said the last five years at Simply Home have been a blessing.
“The community has been a blessing, too,” she said. “We live out here, our kids have grown up out here, and we came in at a time when there was a need and we filled that need. God has blessed us and we give him the full credit. When customers walk in the door they know we’re going to take care of them and love on them. Whether it’s praying with them or listening to their heartaches, it’s always ‘how can we help you?’”
Liberty Hill resident Jennifer Mauck said she’s been to Simply Home a few times and loves shopping there for this reason.
“[The employees are] so helpful,” she said. “I needed to grab something for my husband’s grandfather for his birthday. I wasn’t sure if they had anything for men and the ladies were awesome in helping me pick out the perfect thing for him quickly. They even gift wrapped it really cute.”
Spearman has designed each room of the store to be a different theme. From gift items for babies and toddlers to wine accessories and gourmet treats, to home décor, candles and clothing and jewelry, Simply Home has a little bit of everything, Spearman said.
“I go to market in Atlanta at America’s Mart in January and July,” she added. “I’ve learned over the years what lines are dependable [and] what price points my customers want. If I’m unsure of something, I’ll sometimes post a picture of it on Instagram and ask the community if they want me to sell it. I’ll get feedback before I make the order. We can’t be everything for everyone, but we offer a great variety.”
Though each room holds its own theme, around the holidays, Spearman transforms her entire shop into a winter wonderland with the big reveal held the first Saturday in November—a tradition she’s maintained since her first year in business. That event will be held Nov. 4 this year.
“We’re closed for three to four days ahead of time, and I have a team who comes in and we transform everything,” she said. “Cars start lining up early in the morning and by the time we open there are people lined up out the door. It’s a whirlwind of a day with all the people coming through, and it gets bigger every year.”
After five years of success, Spearman said her goal for the future is to continue doing what she does and doing it well.
“I love where we’re at right now,” she said. “I thought I knew a lot of people from teaching school and going to church, but there’s a lot more people here. Our customers are almost like family. I want to thank them for their support and loyalty to me and the business over the years, and for loving on us and giving us the chance to love on them.”
Simply Home Décor & More is located at 15280 W. State Hwy. 29. The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is closed Sundays and Mondays. For more information, call (512) 778-5001 or search for Simply Home Décor & More on Facebook and Instagram.