Monthly Archives: October 2016

Retailer of the Year – Winners Announced

Tuesday of last week, Southern Accents did something that we have never done before… we intentionally closed the store for the entire day on what should have been a normal business day for us. Aside from major holidays, our showroom is open for business each week Tuesday through Saturday. While closing for a day may not be good for business, it was good for our team. Our entire team cleaned up, dressed up, and headed to the Vestavia Country Club in Birmingham to attend the Retailer of the Year award luncheon.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

 

A couple of months ago we were notified that SA had made it to the top three, after having been nominated for Retailer of the Year by local business owner Rob Werner. We received an invitation to the luncheon on October 18 where the winners would be announced. Owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr. decided that the entire team would attend the luncheon and be a part of the big announcement. We work hard as a team and this past year has been a busy one. Knowing that everyone needed a day off to relax and have a little fun, Garlan made the decision to close the store and take everyone with him. We dusted off our shoes and traded in our jeans and SA tees for a more formal attire and headed south for the day! Garlan’s family, including Garlan Sr., who is the founder of Southern Accents, joined the party along with the Werners.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Garlan with friend and fellow business owner Rob Werner

When the winners were announced, Southern Accents was awarded the silver distinction in our category. “The Alabama Retailer of the Year judges praised Gudger for his “team orientation” and his success in “using 21st century technology to sell 19th century material.” They also gave him high marks for his work to preserve history and invigorate his city’s downtown.” Not only are we thrilled to have received this recognition, we are also humbled to have been included in the company of other successful and very worthy business owners and nominees from across the state of Alabama. We were inspired, not only by the success stories of the other nominees, but also by the words of keynote speaker Terry Finley, CEO of Books-A-Million.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Garlan was quick to praise and thank the entire SA team. Southern Accents would also like to thank the Alabama Retail Association for their recognition, as well as Rob Werner for the nomination. But, this award would not be possible without our customers! Thank you all for believing in us and in what we do. Your support allows us to continue on our mission to rescue, restore, document and preserve architectural elements of historical significance.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Fellow Alabama Retail of the Year category winners


The Westin Hotel – Nashville

A growing area of Southern Accents business the past few years has been set design and staging. We’ve designed and built sets for some amazing venues: New York Fashion week, SlossFest, Yellowhammer Presidential Forum, Southern Makers and more. While we are best known for our use of reclaimed wood and salvaged materials, our latest project pushed our creativity to new and exciting heights!! Last week we completed a job for the new Westin Hotel in downtown Nashville just in time for their grand opening. While this job presented many challenges, we overcame each one with the end result being nothing short of spectacular!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Through relationships with quality people like Brent Smith, and others, we found ourselves in contact with the owners of the Westin Hotel who were looking for someone to construct the decor for two lobby ceilings. Jason West, of David Mexico Design Group out of NYC, came up with a beautiful multi faceted ceiling design. Jason’s design featured intricate lines and angles that resembled a pyramid. For this project we decided to use a high density urethane foam, which was hand carved to form the various facets. From start to finish, we were given only 31 days to complete the project.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Large blocks of foam were hand carved to create the ceiling decor

Once we received the purchase order, the first step was to acquire the needed material. The foam used for this job had to be custom made. 15 blocks of 4’ x 10’ foam was poured and shipped to our warehouse in Garden City, Alabama. This process took 21 days, leaving us with only 10 days to complete the project! While the empty warehouse provided the large working space needed, there was no electricity, which forced our team to work with the assistance of a generator. SA team member Josh Howe, who has a BFA from the University of Montevallo with a concentration in sculpting, quickly went to work hand sculpting each piece of foam. Once the foam was carved, each piece was covered in a bronzy gold colored vinyl. The pieces were then transported to the Westin where SA team members worked throughout the week and into the wee hours of the night framing and hanging the finished works of art.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Foam pieces were laid out in our warehouse in preparation for transportation to Nashville

We were honored to have been given the opportunity to take on this project. While the challenges we faced pushed us out of our comfort zone, we proved that we can take on any project and rise to the occasion. Like all of our endeavors, this was a team effort. From Jason’s spectacular design, to Josh’s artistry, to those that provided the vinyl application and other tools and equipment needed, everyone involved served an intricate and important role in this creation.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

The Westin elevator lobby upon our arrival

We are excited about the relationships formed during this venture and look forward to working with the Westin again in the future. Located at 807 Clark Place in Nashville, TN, the Westin officially opened Oct 12 and is booked at 100% occupancy this Sunday. When you visit this decadent hotel, remember to look UP at the ceiling while in the elevator lobby of the 1st and 27th floor to view Southern Accents handiwork!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

One of the two lobbies as we neared completion


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