Helloooo from East Tennessee!
WOW - a blog post. I have always admired all of those out there who blogged … so thanks for humoring me as I attempt our first one.
Before I go any further - THANK YOU for stopping by our online storefront. If you would have asked me 15 years ago if we would have an online presence, I probably would have laughed. I feel like I was one of the great resistors to e-commerce even. But, today, I am so grateful and thankful we do, because we are able to bring our small town of Maryville to you.
So let’s get to know each other! I am Joy, the proprietor of Dandy Lions Gifts, wife to Will and the mother to Drew and Caroline (and our wack fury baby Bruiser). Fun fact- I remember on one of my very first dates with Will, he turned to me and asked “What is your dream job?” I said with confidence, “Owning my own gift shop in Maryville, TN.”
A few years later, I started doing stationery as a side gig from a desk in the bonus room of our little home. I had no expectation of it growing into anything much, but enjoyed the creative process and getting to work with the most beautiful brides for their wedding invitations. Little did I know it would grow (and grow!) and I would need to get a building and hire real employees.
That’s when I found the old sacred library that was in the heart of downtown Maryville. I knew I loved everything about the building (big windows, squeaky hardwood floors, nostalgia for our town), and love that the building itself also helped create the name Dandy Lions.
I thought about the BIG library in New York with the BIG lions out front and thought, “I need to get some lion statues for this sweet little library too.” Then came the best childhood memories of a little shop in Alabama where my aunt would surprise us with the most beautiful and unique gifts, The Dandelion (which I believe still exists today!). And boom. A little nod to the library, a little nod to family ties and that is how we came to be Dandy Lions.
We added home and baby goodies and jewelry and gifts to the mix and of course continued doing stationery. And Will kept encouraging me to follow my dreams throughout the entire process.
Now 15 years later I consider myself the luckiest on planet earth to still pursue and live in this dream I have held for so very long. So a HUGE thanks to my AMAZING husband and kids and sweet DL family for being the most supportive and uplifting people in my life.
Although I love retail and cute merch, what I treasure most is the community I get to experience every single day walking into downtown Maryville and through the doors of an old library that is now home to Dandy Lions Gifts. It is my biggest joy to daily meet new people, hug so many necks, and see radiating smiles fill up the store.
This store is great, but it’s the people who fill it that have the most special place in my heart. Our dear town of Maryville is truly the B.E.S.T. They are the greatest cheerleaders anyone could ever hope for!
Dandy Lions Gifts 100% wouldn’t be Dandy Lions without the sweet staff who show up everyday with smiles on their faces willing and eager to serve our community and now states all across the country. I am quick to brag about these gals, because they absolutely jump through hoops for our customers at every turn. They continually exceed every expectation. Ever. To me, these women are family.
Rarely a day goes by that I don’t get text messages, phone calls or just small town chatter bragging on an experience that someone has had with the staff here. These women are hardworking, kind, selfless, fun, smart, servant-hearted, and determined. Did I mention KIND!!?? You must meet them whenever you have the chance! It is an honor to know them and love them.
The greatest part?? I know your experience with our staff through our online store will be equally as fabulous - they are trained up, eager and so excited for this next step with each of you.
With this brand new online presence, we hope to bring a little piece of our sweet life to you AND get to meet and have new experiences with all of you along the way. Even though I came to this world wide web idea kicking and screaming and holding tight to my old school thoughts on JUST being a hometown storefront, I am now over-the-moon excited to dive in head first to all things in e-commerce land.
LET’S DO THIS, Internet!
We are here to officially welcome you to the online store of Dandy Lions Gifts! We hope you have an experience you will remember. If you have any questions, recommendations, recipe suggestions, teenager parenting advice, or just sweet words of encouragement, etc. please reach out and let us know! We are beyond eager to help in any way we can.
With all of our love and appreciation-
Joy Carver and the Dandy Lions Family