This piece was originally published in the Winter 2016-2017 issue of Our Jackson Home: The Magazine.
Vineyard’s Gifts, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, is located in one of the quaintest little pockets of Jackson. On the corner of Wiley Parker and North Highland Avenue sits a small shopping center including a florist, spa, children’s clothing store, and café. In the center of it all is Vineyard’s Gifts, a boutique gift shop that specializes in bridal and baby registry, stationery, invitations, and gift items.
The store was originally opened as a florist in downtown Jackson by Lyda Tomlin Vineyard. Once Lyda Vinyard’s son graduated from college, he began to help run the shop and eventually became the owner. The shop stayed in the family through several ownership changes and eventually transitioned away from floral work and into gifts. Though it is no longer owned by the Vineyard family, current owner Joy Meriwether maintains the long-standing good reputation of Vineyard’s in the Jackson community.
Meriwether, a Jackson native, purchased the business in 1999 after spending thirteen years as a homemaker and raising her children. When her eldest daughter had just started school, Meriwether heard that the owner of Vineyard’s was looking for a buyer and felt the timing was perfect for her life. Meriwether had no prior business or retail experience, but she was committed to learning the ins and outs of owning a business. She says she has fumbled here and there over the years, but overall the experience has been very rewarding. A smile spreads across her face as she recalls a mix-up she had on the phone with a representative of a stationery company. She had confused the stationery company with a serveware company of a similar name and asked the representative if the product could be put in the oven. She says she still laughs about the early days when she was getting her footing in this new industry. Now seventeen years later, Meriwether feels at home in Vineyard’s and has cultivated a wonderful community around her business.
Bridal registry anchors the business at Vineyard’s, and brides can choose their more elegant items such as crystal and china to be purchased in sets or individually. Meriwether says she enjoys seeing past brides come back in to register for baby gifts. Getting to know her clients is one of the highlights of owning the business. In addition to Jackson families, Vineyard’s serves a surprising number of people just passing through Jackson. The store is conveniently located near I-40, and the Northpark Shopping Center is a great destination for travelers.
A workday at Vineyard’s is anything but typical. The clients set the agenda for the day, and the team at Vineyard’s works to make sure everyone’s needs are met. One day may include walking a bride through registering for china, and the next day the team may set up a new display of pottery from a regional artist. The gift items are carefully curated by Meriwether and include things such as Kate Spade wallets, Rifle Paper Co. planners, and candles made specifically for Jackson residents and named by Meriwether. The team at Vineyard’s Gifts can help their clients find the perfect gift for any occasion, just as they have been doing for 100 years.
Kristi Woody is a photographer and storyteller for our Hello Jackson features about locally owned retail stores and restaurants. She also works as the university photographer for Union University and owns her own wedding photography business, Woody & Pearl Photography. In her free time, Kristi enjoys spending time with her husband and rambunctious beagle, Rhett and Chipper respectively. If you can't find Kristi in Jackson, you'll find her in her second favorite place: Disney World!