Shannon Berrey

Anna Bedell's: fashion~heart~home

Friday, February 22, 2013



You can take the girl out of the mountains, but even after many years go by, those mountains may just pull her back. Such is the case with Brooke Tastinger Smith, owner of the new boutique in Franklin, NC, Anna Bedell's. After graduating from high school, Brooke traveled the country. She attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia as well as SCAD. A decade later, she returned to her mountains, and her family, and earned a degree in interior design from WCU.  




Anna Tastinger, Brooke's grandma {on the back of the motorcycle in the image on the left}, was a German immigrant. She left her family at 16 and never saw them again. Brooke says she has never met a stonger lady and she loved listening to her grandma's stories in her thick german accent. 

Her great grandma Bedell Raby {sitting in the field} was the wife of a farmer, tended her own garden, mothered 12 children, and was the most humble, funny woman Brooke ever knew. I love that images of these important women hang high above the store, their namesake, feeling what I can only imagine is an incredible sense of pride.  




 After Anna passed away a few years ago, Brooke found therapy in sorting through her beloved Grandma's photos and postcards and printing them on fabrics and canvas. She felt compelled to open her store, in the honor of these wonderful ladies, and their beautiful images are found throughout the store. 





The store is filled with a fantastic selection of clothing, shoes, beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry from local artists, kids clothes, gifts, stationary and books, pillows, purses, photographs, and local artwork.  







A friend from her days at WCU, photographer and artist Ian Michael Ward, showcases his talents throughout the boutique. I was so drawn to his large photo of a local Sylva gas station with the Scott's Creek Church steeple peeking in-between the pumps. Ian states, 'I create work that integrates both photography and sculpture. I am mainly interested in the dynamic between audience and author by objectifying emotions and investigating the duality that results. My latest work is a direct response to the rapid expansion of community and characteristics that make up its foundation. By removing the content and reframing it, I am able to represent a new idea of community.' Now I may have a totally different vision from Ian, {the beauty of art, right?!!} but my take away from his image is: the church is what refuels me. I love it!    



Just this week, Ian was high above the boutique floor, mounting an art installation that connects images of Anna and Bedell encased in a colorful honeycomb. How perfect that the honeycomb definiton includes: to penetrate thoroughly and into every part. What better shape to frame those people who influence us the most.     




Tucked beneath the stairs is a fun childrens escape. 







"She" and "Hope" are inspiring books focusing on the celebration and life of women. It celebrates the many roles that women take on and honors the beauty and strength that women possess. As Brooke states, "Anna Bedells encompasses the same message -- Women rock! We need to embrace our inner beauty and strength!" 





Perhaps my favorite part of the store -- the dressing room!  It's dark and reflective and wonderfully moody.



I just want to wrap myself in those delicious walls that are covered in Thibaut's Anna French Songbird wallpaper! Gor-gis !!!




And speaking of gorgeous, Brooke says that she has so many exciting things planned for the future --details to come! As for the Spring, the new collection consists of 15 new lines of clothing, vintage clothing, more shoes, as well as sweet little girls dresses. And, as always, she will continue to fully support and showcase local artists, promote local talent, and bring in as much community involvement as possible.



Check her out on facebook or visit in person at 24 East Main Street in downtown Franklin. 



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Shannon Berrey Bio
I'm an artist, interior designer, wife and mom. Join me here as I share projects, ramblings, and inspirations.
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