If you are surprised at the growth each time you go to The Grove at 107 Spring Street, you are not alone. The business, which opened in the summer of this year with a handful of vendors has grown to roughly 51 curated vendors that have created a delightful marketplace filled with color, life and a motherlode of desirable items.

At a recent Santa and Mrs. Clause story time at The Grove.

Carrie Ann Restel and partner Damon Tilton are also going to be launching the new Get Swank, a collection of home decor signs. The eight year old Minden-based company was recently acquired by Restel and Tilton and will be housed at The Grove.

Some of the items of Get Swank.

The ‘sayings signs’ became very popular in ‘Farmhouse Chic’ decor and have crossed over into multiple looks and uses. Carrie and crew will be taking their creations to Dallas Market in January, so the sky is the limit for them, and knowing how hard Carrie and Damon work, the sky is likely only their first stop! All production will happen in downtown Shreveport, and yes, we love that very much.

One of the Get Swank signs.

For now, until things are really up and running, The Grove will be offering more generic home and holiday designs, but will eventually offer some custom runs as well.

To see all the ‘new’ for yourself, remember that The Grove is open each Friday 4pm-8pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, and Sunday noon-4pm until Christmas, and will then be closed the first weekend in January.

July 28, 2022

Just two weeks after her 70’s themed grand opening at The Grove, 107 Spring Street, owner Carrie Restel is thrilled to say that her vendor list has grown…and is growing even more.

Carrie and partner Damon Tilton have taken an 8,000SF open warehouse-type space just across from the Convention Center Parking Garage and with love, sweat, pallet wood and paint, have created a warm and friendly shopping experience.

Her opening weekend July 15-17 featured 26 vendors selling a wide range of items. Six more vendors have been added since, three are planning to open in September and Carrie is unsure what August will bring!  At this rate, The Grove, space planned initially for roughly 45 vendors, will be out of rentable space well before year’s end.

Carrie’s plan to keep The Grove fresh is to limit shopping to two weekends per month, with an option to add special events. Limiting the days  allows her to keep her much-loved ‘day’ job, and also makes each opening a unique experience. A bonus is that it gives her vendors time to restock and move items around to keep their inventory interesting.

The Grove’s groovy tees.

Her first weekend of business, Carrie ran out of ‘The Grove’ t-shirts she was selling, a fact that left another downtown retailer shaking his head. ‘She was selling her own logoed t-shirts?’ he asked? ‘Wow. That means they are onto something.’ It seems so.

If you missed The Grove the first weekend, come on out this weekend. Hours are:

Friday, July 29- 4-8 pm
Saturday, July 30- 10 am-6 pm
Sunday, July 31- noon- 4 pm

Story from 7-21-22

The Grove’s opening weekend was a hit, both 70’s groovy and busy! Owners Carrie Restel and Damon Tilton had worked hard on the space at 107 Spring Street, stocked it with more than 20 fun vendors and decorated the heck out of it…but there was still the lingering fear of whether people would come.

That fear was put to rest within minutes of the grand opening ribbon cutting on Friday, July 15.

Once the ribbon was cut, the customers flowed in!

Carrie was relieved, and thrilled. “I have to say about the weekend that the saying is true – if you build it they will come because they totally did. Friday is almost a blur with all the excitement in this space. Damon and I saw people we had not seen since high school. We saw people we had never met. I even left my poor sister that drove over from Dallas out of the family picture – yeah, she may not forgive me anytime soon on that one! The weekend was so good though. Our vendors were truly able to share their amazing talents with so many people, both local and those who traveled in from out of town.”

Carrie started the weekend with 26 vendors in the 8,000SF space, with room for roughly 20 more. She is fielding calls every day from new vendors interested in being part of the magic of The Grove. She says five additional spaces were rented over the weekend, so when they open again on July 29th, they will be restocked with new items at the initial vendors and new vendors and offerings, too.”

One of the cutest things she saw over the weekend had to do with a sofa she had asked Damon to bring in at the last minute to fill a ‘dead’ space. That sofa became instantly popular. “That sofa STAYED full with men all weekend long. I think I may need to get them a TV for football season, too.”

Because both Carrie and Damon have ‘day’ jobs, they never intended The Grove to be open five days a week. For now, a couple of weekends per month and for special events is enough. But if the interest and excitement continues, who knows?

“Damon and I plan to get back to work now because we still have so many vendors contacting us and we have spaces to complete,” says Carrie. “We are just so excited to be a part of bringing downtown Shreveport back to a fun place to live and shop. We had a blast this weekend seeing old and new friends! We can’t wait to open the doors again.” The doors will open again on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 29th-31st. It will be a good weekend to get to know what’s going on at The Grove.

Original Story, July 13, 2022

Carrie and her ‘crew.’

Carrie Restel gets paid to know what sells. As a buyer for accessories for Ivan Smith Furniture stores, she not only keeps up with the trends but has to stay ahead of them. She has to juggle things happening behind the scenes— is Pantone, the universal language of color for designers, brands and manufacturers, leaning into Ultimate Gray this year or Very-Peri, a periwinkle? (Answer: Very Peri.) Not keeping up with those colors, which are chosen a year or more in advance, and the other trends, can mean the difference in a good sales year at her ‘day’ job at Ivan Smith, and a lackluster one.

A vendor at The Grove.

Beth Hughes, Artist.

Vendors will have both women’s and children’s clothing.

At present, 26 vendors have spaces at The Grove.

As much as she loves buying and decorating for Ivan Smith, she has also long wanted to own her own retail space. It all began with a shop called Kevin’s Corner in Shreveport. “I remember going there with my mom,” Carrie told me. “I just loved that place. I wanted to have something like that of my own where I could select my own vendors; not a flea market or garage sale.”

Carrie and Damon

Carrie and her business partner Damon Tilton finally came across that chance. She had been looking around for the perfect space when she stumbled upon 107 Spring Street, an 8,000 SF one-story building just across from the Convention Center parking garage that used to be a printing shop. The building was completely rehabbed with a nice storefront and good parking and it looked like a perfect fit.  She contacted the owner- several times- and finally inked the deal. Since then, it has been a whirlwind of construction, working with vendors, setting of a point of sale system, and planning for the opening of the business she has dreamed of for so long. She has named it The Grove, and this weekend, her grand opening festivities will make a nod to the 70s-  Groovy at The Grove. It will feature food trucks outside, theme music, and pop up food businesses inside. The event is already getting buzz.

From the go, Carrie wanted to structure a business that would allow her to keep her job at Ivan Smith and be able to have some sort of a life while scratching her itch for a cool retail business. She believes this is it. The Grove will be open Fri.-Sun. on the 1st and 3rd weekends each month. Each 1st weekend will feature a different theme, (which she already has lined out for the year) and food trucks (ditto). She is nothing if not motivated and organized.

She has been helping her vendors with painting and booth placement ideas. She and partner Damon have ripped apart dozens of pallets to use the rough wood for paneling. “I tell Damon what we need and he builds it,” says Carrie, with relief in her voice. “Sheet rock is EXPENSIVE, 2 x 4’s are expensive, everything is expensive. All the work has been a real family affair.”

Ironically, this is not Carrie’s family’s first building downtown. Her grandfather Peyton Connell once owned 408 Cotton Street, and worked on the automobiles brought there. She went by the building several years ago and says she felt his presence there again; “I remembered immediately how the shop smelled,” the oil and gas and hydraulic fluid. On Thursday when Carrie and her Mom stopped by the DDA office just next door to 408 Cotton, her Mom had to take another look, too. Good memories were made there.

Carrie is hopeful that more good memories will be made at 107 Spring, for her, Damon, her family, the vendors and the community that will come to shop there. We hope so, too.

Everyone is invited to the weekend’s Grand Opening Festivities which run Friday night 4-8 pm, Saturday from 10 am- 6 pm, and Sunday from noon- 4 pm. The Uneeda Taco truck will be there Friday night, as will a snow cone truck. On Saturday and Sunday, Deep South Dogs will be serving. Inside, the two food pop-ups will be Big Mama’s Bakery and Friends Nutrition with loaded teas, all weekend. There is seating space for eating inside in the air conditioning.

The Grove’s vendors include:
Divine Indulgences – crafted glycerin soaps and freshies
Eventide – family poured candles and wax melts with pelican jewelry
Epilogue Soaps
Glitz and Glamour – resin poured jewelry
H2G – women’s boutique
Bella Bijoux – plunder designed jewelry
Vine and Branches – Personal devotionals, sacramentals and gifts
Sugar Britches – children’s boutique
Beth Hughes – hand painted artist
TarynOhBoy – hand crafted jewelry
Sheri’s Serendipity – artist
Frames-a-Plenty – hand painted artist
LeighLain – women’s boutique
Junipers – baby and children
2 Chicks and a Paint Brush – wood crafts
Grace Happens – home decor and Christian gifts
Earth Lizard Designs – door signs and yard decor
J&J boutique – women’s clothing and accessories
Blue Girl Creations – refurbished jewelry boxes and vintage things
Scentworthy – bath, body and home
Cumberland Farms – Jams and Canning
The Painted Pelican – Louisiana Gifts and Ceramics
Solfolk Market – Essential Oils, flowers and home decor
Dash Design – stain glass
Allison Rhymes Designs – Oyster Jewelry designs
The Hot House – home decor

There will be a photo booth for the weekend, and those with a little of the 70s still in their closets are encouraged to pull it out for the weekend.

Spaces at The Grove are still available. A 10×10 is $250 per month with a 15% commission. Carrie says she has room for 45-50, but once they’re gone, they gone. See you this weekend at The Grove.