It's been a whirlwind year for a Ringgold woman, who recently moved back to her hometown and opened up her own shoe store in the heart of downtown.
Ringgold native Yvonne Kedrowitsch's life has come full circle with the opening of her new store, Nashville Street Shoes.
Kedrowitsch was born in Ringgold, learned the shoe business over a number of years while living in New Jersey, and now has one of downtown Ringgold's newest unique shop.
"I was born right here in Ringgold at Doc Steve's Place," Kedrowitsch said. "I'd been living in New Jersey and working in shoe retail for about 12 years, but my husband retired and we wanted to move back to the area to be closer to our family over in Apison, Tenn."
After choosing Ringgold to be home for good, Kedrowitsch said she fell in love with the town all over again, and says an outing with her daughter sparked the idea for the beautiful little shop that has become a big hit.
"I hadn't ever thought too much about opening a store," Kedrowitsch said. "Last November, my daughter and I went over to the Shabby Chic Boutique and just loved it. We love the small-town feel, and the owner over there said she had everything in her store except shoes, so then my daughter said, 'Mom, we should open up a shoe store.'"
Kedrowitsch says she got a lot of encouragement from her old boss in New Jersey when she first considered the venture.
"I said, 'Is this a crazy idea or what?'" Kedrowitsch said. "She said, 'That's incredible, you should so do it, you'd be great at it.' I talked to my husband about it too and he told me to go for it, so I got in touch with the building owner, and we opened up on Cinco de Mayo on May 5."
Kedrowitsch said she never entertained the idea of opening a big store in a crowded mall or business park, but looked instead for a quaint little inviting place she could make her own.
"I love the small-town feel here," she said. "If I couldn't be in a little downtown shop on main street, I didn't want to do it."
Kedrowitsch's daughter Brannon Roberts, a Lee University graduate, co-owns the shop and also handles the store's marketing and social media.
The store's inventory includes a little bit of everything.
"We have men's shoes, women's shoes, children's shoes, jewelry, handbags, and even funny socks with cool designs on them," Kedrowitsch said. "We're still learning what's not selling, what lines we want to pickup, and things like that."
So far, Kedrowitsch says the feedback from customers has been wonderful.
"Facebook has been our biggest way of people hearing about us," she said. "During 1890s Days, we had a lot of foot traffic, and they (customers) were like, 'we didn't even know you were here'. There were so many people during that weekend, it was amazing."
Like any business owner would, Kedrowitsch takes a lot of pride in her store, and also appreciates the opportunity to have her own shop in her hometown.
"I'm proud to be in Ringgold, not only being born here, but it's almost like coming full circle for me," she said. "To be a part of downtown just makes me so proud. I love it."
Nashville Street Shoes is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Nashville Street Shoes
7801 Nashville Street, Ringgold, Ga. 30736
Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Closed Sundays