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CH Interiors & Gifts

Names Change, Family Remains at the Heart of CH

Many customers fondly remember the original Cranberry Hollow in Lenoir City, a tea room and country store opened in 2003 by Sue Boling and her late husband, John. The award-winning retail business re-opened in 2013 at 12556 Kingston Pike in Farragut, where CH Interiors & Gifts continued to offer “Interiors & Gifts to Warm the Heart & Home.” Their entrepreneurial son, Jesse Boling, concurrently operated KNOX Graphics, and the rising demand for printing services and his desire to transition to a real estate career led to a search for new ownership.

The Bolings sold the business in January 2018, assisting as consultants for six months to ensure a smooth transition to the mother-daughter team of Darlene and Kristen Reinke. Along with shopdog Sadie, they are grateful for how warmly long-time customers have embraced them as the next CH shopkeepers and are determined to be the community’s destination of choice for high-quality, hand-selected décor and gifts.

In this issue of Everything Knoxville, we are pleased to share our recent interview with this amazing mother and daughter team.

EK: Your family team appears to have a third member. Tell us about shopdog Sadie.

Darlene: Sadie, my four-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is the shop’s official greeter. She has earned a special place in the hearts of our customers, who enjoy her friendly welcome and happily oblige when she asks for a belly rub. Many say they would love to take her home, but we remind them that everything is for sale except the dog –she’s priceless!

EK: Kristen, you formerly worked as an organizational psychologist. What inspired you to join your mom at CH Interiors & Gifts?

Kristen: Running a small community-focused retail business is certainly a much different experience than consulting in corporate settings. When I was diagnosed with a rare health condition that required major surgeries and regular visits to Vanderbilt University Hospital, I had to make lifestyle adjustments, which included moving to Tennessee and scaling back my busy travel schedule. My mom and I first worked together when I assisted with HR at her Marco’s Pizza franchises, and we both became frequent shoppers at CH since the businesses are neighbors. When Sue and Jesse expressed interest in retirement and a new career, my mom convinced me it would be fun to work together running a store we already loved as customers.

EK: For our readers who may be unfamiliar with CH Interiors & Gifts, what makes your shop so unique?

Darlene: When you walk through our doors, you are treated like family. You are greeted by shopdog Sadie and welcomed with a friendly hello. We respect that some people enjoy stopping in just to browse our ever-changing inventory and displays, some want to chat while sampling our fresh SoberDough Artisan Bread, and others appreciate hands-on assistance in selecting the perfect gift. All types of daily interactions with our customers provide us with invaluable insights which inform our buying decisions when we visit markets and meet with vendors. We look for items that we know our customers will love and love to give: Unique, high-quality gifts and décor that we can offer at fair price points.

Kristen: Let me add that we not only consider the product, but the producer. As a local family business, we try to support other small companies and prioritize those who are local and share our beliefs on giving back to their community. For example, the supplier of our popular Keepers of the Light Jar Candles partners with special needs centers, enabling mentally challenged adults to have meaningful work. We source local, organic honey from Lenoir City; each purchase of a beautiful greeting card feeds a child; we seek out products made in the USA; we gave Jesse’s new print shop our business for advertising; we donate gift baskets to local fundraising causes. Purpose, loyalty, and community are just as important to us as quality and customer service.

EK: Your shop certainly does look beautiful for the holiday season! It is evident that a lot of time and care go into your merchandising.

Darlene: That is thanks to Earnie, who had been with CH since the Lenoir City days and who remains the talent behind why customers delight in how the store feels. She is incredibly talented and experienced. All of our items are beautifully and creatively displayed, often in vignettes, designed to help shoppers visualize how the items might look in their home or be presented as a gift to a deserving recipient.

EK: Highlight a few of your more unique gift items for our readers.

Darlene: We recently brought in a new line from stone sculptor, George Carruth. His original sculptures will add charm and character to your home or garden. With their quirky personalities and names (like Razz-berries and Grandma Nature), as well as beautiful Nativity scenes for Christmas, they quickly become a talking point with guests.

Kristen: A product line that I love – with a story I personally relate to – is BEEKMAN 1802. It was started by two guys, the Beekman Boys, who like me traded their hectic NYC lives for a community-centered entrepreneurial venture. Staying true to country living, they focus on the elimination of chemicals and use goat milk and botanical-based ingredients, so products from BEEKMAN 1802 leave your skin feeling naturally clean and moisturized. Their beautiful packaging – especially the new holiday gift sets – and wide range of clean, appealing fragrances make BEEKMAN 1802 the perfect gift for anyone and any occasion!

EK: What other goodies will shoppers discover in your treasure trove of gifts and décor items?

Kristen: Visitors love our gourmet food items, including the all-time favorite Raspberry Jalapeño Jam, Savory Cracker Seasonings, Cape Cod candies and truffles, and Rabbit Creek soup, brownie, muffin, and scone mixes. These are just a few of our extensive selection of easy-to-make, tasty products that will make every meal and occasion feel extra special and also are great for hostess gift-giving.

Darlene: We are also expanding our gifts for new moms and baby. I became a grandma this year and wanted to bring in a line of ultra-soft blankets, toys, and crinkle books featuring traditional and whimsical animals, as well as everyday and holiday night lights.

Kristen: Lastly, we hope customers will join our new Loyalty Program (text CH to 55678 or enroll in-store) for special discounts, personalized event invitations, and a birthday gift. We also offer a gift registry, complimentary gift wrapping and custom bows, and gift certificates.

EK: How can our readers learn more about CH Interiors & Gifts?

Kristen: We would like to personally invite all of your readers to visit our boutique, conveniently located at 12556 Kingston Pike in Farragut. To those of you that have never visited us, we invite you to discover the CH Interiors & Gifts experience – from the moment you walk through our door, you’re family. We share our new arrivals and events on Instagram and Facebook @chinteriorsandgifts, which is also a great way to engage with us until you can make it into the shop.

Darlene: On behalf of the team here at CH Interiors & Gifts, we would like to thank all of you for both your encouragement and support and extend to each of you our best wishes for a blessed Christmas and New Year’s holiday season. Our hope is that we can help you make this holiday and any event truly special.

CH Interiors & Gifts
12556 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934
865.288.7887
www.chinteriorsandgifts.com

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