What comes to mind when you hear the words “kindred spirits?” The definition of kindred spirits is a person or persons whose interests or attitudes are similar to one's own. For owner and creator, Pam Hertenstein, “kindred spirits” means the world to her, and she has surrounded herself with many of these like-minded people . . . people that prefer a nice handcrafted item over something mass produced in a foreign country.
Kindred Spirits, a whimsical and unique gift store, has been a venue for local artisans and handmade crafters in Athens since 2011. Pam recently relocated her store to the charming historical town of Elkmont and has been welcomed with open arms by the local residents, her long-time “raving fan” customers, as well as those who are just discovering the town of Elkmont. She is located at 18820 Upper Fort Hampton Road, across from Belle Chèvre. The cute building that houses Kindred Spirits is referred to locally as the “little hospital building.” If not the first, this building is one of the earliest hospitals in Limestone County. The gentleman that currently owns the building tells the story that his father had his gall bladder removed there in the 1920's.
So, what can you expect when you visit Kindred Spirits? The store has always been known for its warm, welcoming environment, and that has not changed at all. Pam carries everything from locally made soap, to different styles of jewelry, to farm tables made from repurposed barn wood, and everything in between. The talented artisans that are part of the store are passionate about their work, and it shows in the creativity, originality, and quality of their works. This is the perfect place for getting a unique gift that you won't find anywhere else.
Repurposed items have always played an important part of Kindred Spirits--wind chimes, journal covers, jewelry, women's upcycled designer clothing, farm tables, benches, yard art and much more. There's currently a very cool bench made from a repurposed twin head board/foot board. Many of the pieces at Kindred Spirits are one-of-a-kind and turn over quickly, so if you see something you really like, you best buy it when you see it. Kindred Spirits also carries the works of local authors and Pam is looking for more.
For those that are familiar with Kindred Spirits, many of the quality artisans who have been with Pam since the beginning have followed her to Elkmont. For example, Kaye and Mike Widener, of The Old House, said they "would follow Pam wherever she went because it's such a special place." She also has some new vendors, including the Tennessee Valley Pecan Company, Funky Fairy herbal teas and spices, Lori Rhodes Jewelry, Goose Creek Candles, among others. Stop in on a Saturday for her new 'Saturday Samplings' where you can try delicious Southern Pecan coffee, herbal teas and pecans. Each Saturday highlights a different product.
Pam is currently planning an assortment of workshops/classes to be held at the store and at a local venue. If you're interested in painting, jewelry making, cooking with and using herbs, tea parties, and more, stay tuned. Be sure to follow Kindred Spirits on Facebook to learn more details.
Being a huge supporter of local endeavors, Pam is excited to have the opportunity to be part of the merchants in downtown Elkmont where, "We all are 'kindred spirits' when it comes to the issue of ‘supporting local.’"
Pam told me that she recently read an article that stated, "everyone should have a kindred spirit ~ this makes life richer and more blessed." If that's the case, Pam is richly blessed beyond measure!
Have you discovered Kindred Spirits yet? If not, be sure to visit this special place soon. Currently, Pam is open Thursday - Saturday 9:30 - 5:00. She will be adding additional days of operation soon.
18820 Upper Fort Hampton Road Elkmont, AL 35620
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By: Ali Elizabeth Turner