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Local shops offer unique gifts, rewarding experience

The Johnson County Chamber of Commerce has initiated a push to encourage local shopping with a contest where one lucky shopper will win a $300 prize to be awarded a few days before Christmas. Approximately 21 businesses that belong to the chamber have elected to participate in a “Shop Local” endeavor. As shoppers purchase items at any of these contest locations throughout the county, proprietors will sign off on a contest postcard. Once five signatures are received, participants can deliver their card to the local radio station, WMCT, to be placed into a drum.
Although Johnson County does not offer gargantuan stores such as Walmart and Target, they do offer unique and personal shopping experiences that can only be found in small town America. With a bit of ingenuity and outside-of-the-box thinking, local shoppers can find a plethora of unique gift items this holiday season.
Susie Yoggerst, owner of House of Flowers, has a large array of beautiful gift items in her store. There are magnificent centerpieces, silk Christmas trees and poinsettias. She also carries purses, a selection of stuffed animals and colorful garden flags. Patrons will find scrumptious-scented candles, vivid decorative plates and ceramic items as they weave in and out of the little nooks and crannies, finding new treasures at every turn.
Mountain City Pharmacy offers a little bit of something for everyone. In addition to health products, there are row after row of Christmas gift ideas. Their clientele can find Yankee and Kringle candles, garden boots, shoes, unique picture frames and ceramic seasonal decorative items. There are cookbooks and inspirational books, along with stone coasters with colorful designs and the always collectible Willow Tree figurines. Along with cuddly stuffed animals, shoppers will find croquet, badminton and horseshoe sets, as well as a natural mosaic craft kit.
While Family Prescription carries prescription and over-the-counter medications, they offer a large array of discounted personal care items such as hand lotion, shampoo and hand sanitizers that make perfect stocking stuffers. They have a selection of greeting cards, as well as Naked Bee products, similar to Burt's Bees lip balm, body washes and soap. Naked Bee makes its products close to home in Gray, Tennessee. Family Prescription also carries a line of skin care products designed by a dermatologist and include normal skin care, anti-acne and anti-aging skin care items.
There is a wide range of gifts available at Tru-Value Hardware store. Right now, discounts are available on all Christmas ornaments, decorations and lights. According to store owner Carl Michael Howard, business has been brisk. “Black Friday was really successful,” said Howard. EdenPURE heaters, touted as energy efficient, air mattresses, pet items, pocketknives and tool sets have been big sellers this shopping season. Tru-Value offers Radio Flyer wagons, wheelbarrows and spring horses for children. With winter upon us, both potbelly and cast iron stoves are in stock.
TNT Outdoors, owned by Doug and Dan Taylor, carries just about everything that any outdoor sportsman could possibly need or want. They offer guns, ammunition, fishing and archery needs. The store also carries black powder, binoculars and scopes, as well as crossbows. As shoppers wander up and down the many aisles, they will find walls of fishing bait, worms and minnows. TNT also sells gun safes, camouflage clothing and tree stands for deer hunting. There is deer feed, bitter apple spray and coyote urine. Hunters will find devices to call and attract not only deer, but coyote and turkeys. For those who enjoy camping, basic camping supplies can be purchased, such as small canisters of propane and sleeping bags. If you are shopping for anything sports related, TNT Outdoors is the place to be.
Mountain City Antiques and Collectibles, owned by Karla Prudhomme, is an antique shopper’s delight. Her store is chock full of furniture, handmade quilts, china, books, toys, stuffed animals, dollhouses and a set of very large Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls. Two of Prudhomme's vendors are Nancy and Melissa Gentry. Antiquing has become a full-time job for them as they keep several areas stocked with items that are in great demand. The Gentrys currently have musical instruments, furniture and jewelry for sale. They also have some pieces of the popular Iron Mountain stoneware that was once made in Laurel Bloomery.
Jeff Cornett, owner of Quality Furniture and Appliances, is currently running a storewide Christmas sale. He is offering ten percent off everything in stock, from appliances to furniture, home decor, lamps and bedding. Additionally, Lane recliners are on sale starting at $299, while shoppers can enjoy a 15 percent discount on all curio cabinets. Cornett offers free delivery for shoppers in Johnson County. This delivery offer is good through Christmas.
Tri-State Coop is offering 15 percent off all toys, clothing and jewelry now through Christmas. Shoppers can find John Deere bicycles and toy tractors. There are books, Radio Flyer wagons and kid-size pedal tractors. Tri-State offers Carthartt jeans, coats, bib overalls and coveralls and shirts. According to employee Carla Arnold, they now stock items such as shoe creams and shoelaces for boot care. They also carry pink BB guns for girls. Tri-State offers a line of silver jewelry items made by Montana Silversmith. Shoppers can find watches, earrings, lockets, belt buckles and necklaces.
A gift pass to Heritage Hall also makes a wonderful Christmas present. They offer a large genre of entertainment, from musicals to dramas to local high school and community events and even an occasional Barter Theatre production.
Cash Express offers several loan options if money is tight this Christmas season and the wish list is long. According to manager Angie Jones, they offer personal loans where personal checks are held from paycheck to paycheck. Borrowers can also opt for signature loans, where items such as DVDs or televisions are used as collateral. Cash Express does not require credit checks for these loans. Contact Cash Express to obtain information on all of their loan products.
Security Finance also offers signature loans with credit checks necessary. Additionally, Beacon Finance offers personal loans from $100 to $1,000. Some of these loans call for collateral and credit checks. More information regarding various loans and payment arrangements can be obtained directly from each of these lending facilities.
Shop at any of the following locales and have your postcard validated to enter the $300 prize giveaway: Antiques and Treasures, Shay Brey, Country Roads Antiques, The Cabin Store, Mountain City Cycle, Quality Furniture and Appliance, Pizza Plus, Tributary, Southern Sideboards Cafe, The Coffee House, Panda Gardens, The Garden Barn, TNT Outdoors, Tru-Value, The Trading Post, Parsons Quick Shop, RJ's Office Supply Company, Family Prescription, Mountain City Prescription, Mountain City Antiques and Collectibles and Heritage Hall.