Seeking both respite from big-city life and an outlet for her creativity, Glenda Cook found a two-word solution.
That’s the name of her recently opened boutique in downtown Morganton. Located at 605 S. Green St. Suite 100 in between Maria’s Italian Eatery and SideTracked Brewery, Hunny Housh Boutique was christened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning.
Now, it’s ready for customers to purchase arts, crafts, furniture and more, or to take classes.
“I came into town and started looking for something to do,” said Cook, who along with her husband Jack has been in town for about a year after living in Daytona Beach, Fla., and in Houston. “I always was creative, so I started making wreaths and I do lamper beads in jewelry.
“So, I started selling them at little craft shows and whatnot and started painting furniture and really enjoying it. I made some friends who painted furniture, we all put our heads together and decided we really needed a nice place to go to showcase our work. Being an artist myself, I thought this would be a great opportunity to get these younger artists up and going. I thought I’d open up a little store.”
Most of the wares in Cook’s boutique are locally made, something she said she strives for. She has items from another beader, a painter, furniture painters and a candle-maker who are from the region. The operation is done with five artists and three people working in the store.
“We just have a unique selection,” Cook said. “We’ve got some lake style and we’ve got some mountain style home furnishings. We’ve got some farmhouse style furnishings. And we’ve got a little bling in our line. I tried hard to look around and find things that we didn’t have in Morganton.
“I’m just ecstatic, because I love downtown. It’s so quaint and quiet. I love the summers, I love the winters with the sleigh rides and how it’s all lit up. It’s just a quaint, everybody-knows-everybody atmosphere. And coming from an area with a big city, it’s just refreshing.”
Cook is no stranger to being a business owner. She and her family run the Holly Hill, Florida-based company Bob’s Space Racers, which is credited as the creator and developer of the Whac-A-Mole game and of which Cook is the CEO.
That doesn’t mean she hasn’t listened to advice, however, which came from the former owner of More Lace, the longtime downtown store that occupied the space before Hunny Hush.
“When I was considering this location, Ginny (Erwin) and her mom (Le Newell Erwin) came in and talked to me and kind of gave me a heads-up on the ups and downs and whatnot,” Cook said. “I have a little bit of a background working in the industry with what people want and maybe what they don’t want. Price points here were the biggest thing I needed to focus on, and I’ve heard that we hit the mark on that.
“I was really struggling to make sure we have a quality product with a price point that kind of fit everybody’s budget.”
The biggest alteration to the store space is a cutout window in one of the walls that peers into a classroom space. The studio/craft space will host classes — the weekend following the ribbon-cutting featured a free heart cutout painting activity for Valentine’s Day.
“We’re going to have quite a few classes,” Cook said. “We’ve got some gnomes we’re going to be painting and some rabbits we’re going to be painting. We make plaques, we make clocks. We’ve also got a beading artist coming in, and then we’ve got a regular canvas artist who’s going to come in and do some really interesting things where you really don’t need to know how to paint at all.”
Those who want to participate in Hunny Hush’s classes can sign up on the boutique’s Facebook page. Coming soon, the store will have a website with more information. And Cook is ready to show new customers what the store has to offer.
“I just love this area,” Cook said. “Hopefully, I can give them something that maybe they haven’t seen in other places.”