A shop for second chances

By KATHY COPELAND / Community Columnist

Vincent/Harpersville

“Because many things—an animal, a human or something decorative—may need a second chance, a new home,” owner Terri Smith said about how her adorable shop in Vincent earned its name, Foundlings Emporium.

During the early stages of renovating the exterior of the building, she witnessed two dogs dodge traffic as they crossed Alabama 25. Learning they had been dumped off weeks prior, she took them in.

Accordingly, one decided to stay on the run, but Gus became a permanent part of the Smith family and an Emporium mascot, thus Foundlings.

Terri and her husband Danny created a stir in Vincent when they started painting the outside corner building on Alabama 25 between the Food Outlet and City Hall. Then as the flower boxes were added and merchandise started to appear in the windows, curiosity heightened.

Now, open since Nov. 29, 2019, the boutique-type atmosphere offered by this eclectic retail shop is a potpourri of treasures. From home furnishings, accessories, original art, handmade items, jewelry, children’s toys, books or vintage decorative items, there is something for everyone.

Terri tells that for 20-plus years she traveled the country as a corporate wife. “At every stop on the map I either sold homes, remodeled homes, staged homes, repurposed merchandise or did a combination of it all,” she said.

Upon retirement and Alabama calling them home, Terri and Danny considered going back to their original point of departure, Highland Park. Enter Vincent Alabama.

“We found a beautiful farm in the Vincent/New London area in need of some TLC and decided to give country life a try,” Terri said. “It was July of last year when I noticed the ‘For Rent’ sign and immediately began the process of remolding and stocking the store. When Gus became part of the family, we decided that a portion of our proceeds each month would go toward animal charities.”

For those who like to wander, this boutique is a must visit. This is not the typical second-hand shop. “Our furnishings, accessories and artwork are carefully curated to offer quality at reasonable prices,” Terri said.

Artists and artisans are local, from all parts of Shelby County. Locals provide the baked goods that are available every weekend. There is also a selection of hot and cold beverages and ice cream if you are so inclined.

With an obvious creative eye, Terri explained she can custom design floral arrangements upon request using locally gathered items and fresh flowers.

Starting Jan. 17, they will begin taking orders for Valentine’s flowers and baked goods.

Terri says they are just getting started with plans for events to promote pet adoption. They are also exploring the idea of events like an afternoon tea highlighting their baked goods, savory items and an assortment of coffees and teas.

“We will be exploring many avenues to be of service to our new community,” she said. “Our goal is to offer a variety of goods and experiences right here in our own backyard.”

Kathy Copeland is a community columnist covering the Vincent/Harpersville area.