We are thrilled to announce our participation with The Conference On The Front Porch October 18-19 at The Mill at Plein Air in Taylor, Mississippi. This is the second annual Conference On The Front Porch. The conference aims to explore the significance of the front porch in the American South, both from an architectural, as well as a sociological, perspective. The two day conference explores the origins of the front porch, its role in building and sustaining community, the porch and food, the porch and music, and the porch and its impact on the story-telling tradition in the South. All of these topics and more will be explored. In addition to the lectures and panels, registration includes six meals, a one evening porch concert and a one evening porch play.
The two day conference takes place in a beautiful 12,000 square foot venue built entirely from reclaimed materials and located in the Plein Air neighborhood of Taylor, Mississippi which is a short seven minute drive from Oxford and Ole Miss. Our initial involvement with this conference was through the founder, Campbell McCool. Campbell sourced almost 100% of the salvaged building materials for the venue from Southern Accents. Last year, team member Jason Mauldin was in the area speaking to a class at Ole Miss on the history of architectural elements and represented Southern Accents at the first Conference On The Front Porch. This year SA owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr. will be one of 12 speakers at the highly anticipated event. Garlan will be speaking on the topic of “The Front Porch and Pickin’ Architectural Elements” on Thursday, October 19.
The conference is open to architects, developers, planners, social historians, and lovers of all things porch. Conference schedule, speaker information, as well as ticket purchases can be obtained by visiting theconferenceonthefrontporch.com.
This week we were honored to help welcome members of the Alabama Museums Association to Cullman, Alabama. Members of the Association gathered in Cullman for their annual conference. Southern Accents owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr., met with the participants Sunday night at the St. Bernard Retreat Center. After issuing an official welcome to the crowd, he spoke about the revitalization efforts that have taken place in downtown Cullman in the wake of the 2011 tornados, many of which he has spearheaded. Garlan also spoke about the history of Southern Accents and filled everyone in on recent changes to our big event this fall, Southern Makers. After showing off his JFK door knob from his private collection, he opened the floor for a question and answer session.
We were thrilled to be able to host the reception this week for the Alabama Museums Association.
The conference convened Monday at Wallace State Community College. Early that evening everyone gathered at Southern Accents for cocktail hour before heading to the All Steak for dinner. The evening activities concluded at the Cullman County Museum where everyone enjoyed dessert. Tuesday’s activities took place at the Cullman Chamber of Commerce. According to Kristen Holmes, conference coordinator and District 2 Representative on the AMA Board of Directors, conference participants repeatedly commented about how much they enjoyed being in Cullman. Kristen said, “Garlan’s remarks to the group set the stage for our visit to the historic district of Cullman and the evening reception at Southern Accents, which was certainly a highlight of the event. That reception, which gave us a chance to network while roaming the store, was so unique and special that it will be hard to beat when the conference moves to Tuscaloosa next year!”
Approximately 50 members of the AMA joined us after hours to enjoy a few refreshments during cocktail hour while shopping through our showroom, warehouse and outdoor lots.
We were quite honored to have had the opportunity to speak to members of the Alabama Museums Association as well as host the group at the showroom Monday evening. Having a group of people who are involved throughout the state with protecting pieces of our history, keenly interested in our preservation and restoration efforts, fuels our passion for salvaging architectural elements of historical significance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fellow Alabama Retail of the Year category winners
Hang around the Southern Accents team for any length of time and you will quickly see that we are passionate about our work. Whether we are rescuing architectural salvage or using reclaimed material to turn an ordinary event tent into a spectacular setting, our energy and drive is evident and our passion a bit contagious. Our latest adventure kept our team busy in Birmingham all last week transforming a large white tent into an air conditioned haven for the musical artists performing all weekend at the Sloss Music and Arts Festival in Birmingham, Alabama. This event took our entire SA TEAM!!! It takes every single team member… those working throughout the night on site, as well as, those back home holding down the fort, so that we all get to enjoy in the success of this event.
Our SlossFest 2016 adventure actually began last year when Mason & Dixon connected the SA Team with Colleen Call of Garden & Gun. Colleen was so pleased with last year’s tent transformation that she called on us again this year to work our magic and design/build a gorgeous venue for the Garden & Gun Artist Lounge. Our team headed to Birmingham on Wednesday and began construction. Walls were framed inside the tent and then each wall was covered with different reclaimed material. Large stained glass windows, recently salvaged from a church in Decatur, Alabama, were installed along three sides of the tent. Wood shutters salvaged from an 1884 house in Spartanburg, SC were used to cover the two large air conditioners. We called on our friend, Laura Walker, to paint a large mural of an arrow that encompassed the Garden & Gun logo on the entry wall. The arrow head was supposed to be painted, but, after its completion by team member Josh Howe, we decided to leave the multi colored arrow head. Strategic lighting was used to illuminate the metal G&G logo behind the bar, as well as a couple of current G&G Magazine covers, which were enlarged, backlit, and hung in decorative antique frames. Heather stepped in and worked her decorating magic which ensured that this years SlossFest Garden and Gun Artist Lounge was a huge success!
As it is with all our events, it takes a village! We are blessed to be surrounded by some of the best friends and creatives, all of whom we are able to call on to help make each event the success that it is. In addition to those mentioned above, we would also like to thank Vintage Exchange, Jeff Hill, Great Bear Wax Co, Adam Collier at Alabama Soda Works and Anne Conway. Thanks to Lisa Jones and Caleb Chancey for the photography and a huge thanks to Colleen and everyone at Garden & Gun for trusting us to do what we do best! We would also like to thank all of our clients for supporting us in our efforts of creating and salvaging architectural antiques. Thank you for coming in and telling people about us!
Visit our You Tube channel to view a short video of the finished lounge.
Being huge fans of Garden & Gun Magazine, we were humbled when an article on Southern Accents was featured in their latest issue! Our friend, and free lance writer, Jennifer Kornegay contacted us several months back that she had been contacted by G&G and asked to write an article about our business. We love how Garden & Gun portrays all things Southern and were thrilled they chose to include us. The article titled “Recovery Room” can be found on page 157 in the April/May 2016 issue, now on newstands.
Last year was our first opportunity to work with Garden & Gun. We were contracted by Mason Plus Dixon to design and build the G&G Artist Tent for Slossfest, a yearly music festival that takes place at the historic Sloss Furnaces in Birmingham, Alabama. We are excited to announce that we will be working with Garden & Gun again this summer to design and build the artist tent for Slossfest 2016!
The theme of this months issue is “Outlaws and Renegades.” Given the fact that we think of our Southern Accents Team as being a band of creative misfits, inclusion in this particular issue seems quite appropriate! We think of ourselves as rebels, pounding the streets in an effort to rescue architectural relics that most deem old, worn, useless and rubble bound for the nearest landfill. We would like to thank Garden & Gun and everyone involved in the article for recognizing the important part we are playing in helping to preserve the architectural heritage of our American history.
Pick up the latest issue of Garden & Gun at your local news stand or book store or visit them online at: gardenandgun.com.
Photos: Graham Yelton
Being a second generation business and hopefully raising the third generation of salvage men, we are honored to share our passion with generational families that have come through our shop throughout the years. One such family is the McAdams.
The McAdams began shopping with us many years ago when they decided to renovate their early 1900’s home in Huntsville. This past week we received a visit from Annette, her daughter Brittney and her grandchildren Reagan and Everett. Brittney remembers traveling to Cullman on many occasions as a young girl to visit SA with her parents. “It felt like we were here all the time,” Brittney laughingly said. “I was normally wearing my basketball uniform. I remember coming in the store, following Garlan around, and digging through lots of hardware.”
The love of architectural salvage and vintage goods has been passed down from parents to daughter as Brittney is now returning with her children and shopping for her own home. 18 month old Reagan loves to visit her “Uncle Garlan”. When asked if Southern Accents was her favorite store, her face beams with a huge grin as she shakes her head and answers with a resounding “YES”!
Seeing an appreciation for salvaged and reclaimed architectural goods being passed down through three generations in this family warms our hearts. It inspires us to continue in our quest to rescue, restore, and document items of historical significance. Knowing that the McAdams, and many other customers like them, share our passion and mission is why every day we do what we do!
This past Sunday was my 40th birthday! On this day, I watched my oldest son play a travel baseball tournament in Southhaven, Mississippi. I traveled to the Natchez trace to look at an 1860’s log cabin that a friend in Boston wants me to de-construct. I met “Nana” and was blessed by her wonderful hospitality. She showed my two boys and my niece around her farm and allowed us to feed and pet the horses, swing in a hammock, and drive a 4wheeler. She gave the children a piece of pottery she had hand-made, allowed them to use a flat bottom metal boat and paddle themselves around her pond, find a big snake and helped me select a location for the reconstruction of the 1860’s log cabin for her wonderful son, Mack. Afterwards, I drove back home to Alabama with these three amigos to eat Mexican food and play games, all while jamming to music with the windows rolled down.
My 40th birthday was an #architecturaladventure that I will always cherish. My day was packed full of activities and fun, but today, of all days, I really wanted to find a moment to take a deep breath and reflect on what and who and where I am in life. I found that moment while rocking on the front porch with my 80 year young new friend, Nana. As we discussed our lives, rocking and talking at the top of a long sloped hill, I was able to view my children and niece truly playing, without electronics, and life seemed a million miles away. I thought of all the cool and interesting places, people, and events that I have been able to be associated with, but of my greatest achievements, those little ones in that boat are by far what make me the proudest! For them to call me Daddy and Uncle and say their prayers at night with me, while they hug me… well, it makes me swell up inside with pride. I am shaping their future with my time and love. I’ve come to realize that it doesn’t matter how big my bank account is or what position I hold, these things have little meaning if I fail to be part of their life. I have always wondered where I would be in life when I reached 40, and I can truly say that I am exactly where I am suppose to be – home with my family. I am blessed. #digmygig
Written by: Garlan Gudger
Southern Accents loves to collaborate with other artists and makers. Whether we are giving input on design or working to supply salvage materials for a project, working along side those who both understand and share our passion for creativity is invigorating. We are always inspired by fellow creatives.
One of our many valued relationships is with our good friends at Wood Studio. Wood Studio just received a prestigious recognition for their Lookout Mountain Rocker. Gear Patrol recently named the hand crafted rocker the Best Family Values Reading Chair. In 2012, Garden and Gun Magazine awarded Wood Studio the overall winner of their yearly Made In The South Award. We have had a working relationship with Wood Studio for a number of years. Like Southern Accents, Wood Studio is a small family owned and operated business. Founded by father Randy, sons Dylan and Keith now run the wood shop located in Arley, Alabama. Keith makes a regular trip to SA’s wood warehouse looking for reclaimed wood that can be shaped into one of their signature, hand crafted pieces of furniture. Keith states, “We are so lucky to have Southern Accents as a local resource. I couldn’t drive a day in any direction and find any better selection of quality or quantity. SA’s selection of wood and salvaged architectural elements is unmatched. Collaborating with Garlan is really inspiring. I enjoy the ease in which we can bounce ideas off of each other. We have a lot in common and a mutual respect for what it takes to work and succeed with a unique family business in small town Alabama.”
If you’ve never had the opportunity to see Wood Studios’s line of fine furniture, you can check them out online or make plans now to visit with them at Southern Makers! Wood Studio will be returning to Southern Makers May 2nd and 3rd in Montgomery, Alabama. Stop by their booth and test out one of the Lookout Mountain Rockers… you may find that you want to stay for a while!
Southern Accents has been a family owned and operated business since 1969. Second generation owner, Garlan Gudger, Jr., saw the need last year to take SA’s salvage operations to the next level by adding the ability to mill our own salvage lumber.
A growing part of Southern Accents business is salvage wood. One mile from the showroom, on Janeway Drive, sits our warehouse, fully stocked with salvaged barn wood, bead board, beams, fireplace timbers and more. As people are becoming more environmentally aware, the demand for salvage and repurposed wood continues to grow. The patina and beauty of naturally aged wood is simply unmatched. When using the wood for flooring, most want the antique wood milled. Milling the wood ensures that the planks are uniform in width and thickness. It can also give the wood a “clean” face and open up the wood pores, allowing it to be more susceptible to receiving stains and finishes. Having our own mill allows us the ability to fulfill custom orders more quickly and efficiently.
Stop by our wood warehouse and shop one of the largest selections of salvaged wood available in the Southeast! Our warehouse is open Tues-Fri from 9 to 5 and Sat from 10 to 4.
Our current wood stock includes this gorgeous chippy paint breadboard recently salvaged from Selma, Alabama. We have approximately 3,000 square feet while supplies last, priced at $1.00 per linear foot. There is a mix of colors that include white, grey, avocado, haint blue, electric blue, lime green. The salvaged breadboard is a popular choice for wall and ceiling coverings as well as an endless number of craft and DIY projects, including frames, headboards, and more. The ends have been cut and the wood is ready to be repurposed!
We are always fascinated by the many stories we are able to uncover about some of the architectural pieces that we salvage. One story involves our good friends at Billy Reid and a set of antique doors salvaged from a building in New York City.
Southern Accents often travels north in search of salvaged architectural antiques. One such trip saw us return with an incredible set of tall exterior doors. This particular set of doors was simply gorgeous with lots of detailed carving and loads of character. The doors were so striking that Southern Accents owner, Garlan, decided to keep the doors and place them in his home. The doors were temporarily moved to a storage area of our warehouse until they could be retrofitted for his loft.
Billy Reid – Nashville, Tennessee
A few months later Billy Reid visited the SA showroom looking for items for their new retail shop in Nashville, Tennessee. Billy spied the New York doors and decided that he had to have them for his Nashville location. After a bit of negotiating, Garlan reluctantly agreed to relinquish the doors to his friend. The magnificent set of doors currently grace the entrance of the Billy Reid store in Nashville, Tennessee, along with a number of other items acquired from Southern Accents.
Billy Reid – New York City
Fast forward one year later… Billy Reid is preparing to open his retail store in New York City on 54 Bond Street. Billy selected a variety of material from Southern Accents for his new location that needed to be delivered. Garlan had a trip to New York already scheduled so he decided to drive up and deliver Billy’s materials himself. Upon arriving in New York, as Garlan began unloading the items, he noticed something that looked strangely familiar. The front doors of Billy Reid’s New York store looked identical to the front entrance doors of his Nashville location. Garlan snapped a few pictures and took a few measurements, confirming that the doors were indeed identical. After a bit of investigation, Garlan discovered that the doors he had fallen in love with and purchased almost two years earlier had indeed been salvaged from that very building in New York City! Garlan was thrilled with this discovery as it confirmed that the doors ended up exactly where they were supposed to be. Billy had unknowingly selected entrance doors for his Nashville store that were the original doors that hung on the front entrance of the exact building that would become the location of his New York City store.
Coincidence? Perhaps, but this story and others like it are what inspires us to continue doing what we do… rescue, restore, protect and document architectural elements of historical significance. Next time you are in Nashville or New York City, make sure you pay a visit to Billy Reid and pause for a moment before entering the shop to admire the doors!
Written by: Lisa Jones
Pictures courtesy of Billy Reid