Refurnish, Repurpose, Restore
Southern Shack Designs puts an exquisite touch on vintage decor
A fruit stand used by someone during the Great Depression to make a living, fittingly turned into a comfortable bench for rest. Mugs and canisters that you haven’t seen in years, but look just like the ones that were a staple in your grandmother’s kitchen. A bureau from the 1880s, painted in bold colors and ready to serve its purpose in a new owner’s room. Every object holds a story, and Lynne McCafferty knows that when you restore something old you aren’t just taking care of the item, but are also preserving the memories that go with it. “Memories are gifts people have left us in this lifetime, and what I love the most about this store is that whenever someone comes in here, they get to open those gifts and rest in those memories for a few moments.”
The store she refers to is her Southern Shack Designs, and its new expansion next door, Southern Shack Too, located at 312 and 308 6th Avenue Southwest. Lynne chose a former house as the setting for her venture when she opened in the fall of 2016, and now that house and the building beside it are filled with antiques and vintage items, handcrafted home decor, restored furniture, boutique children’s clothing, and many other handmade goods.
What sets the store apart is that it has so much variety under one roof. Lynne, her husband Mike, and nearly 20 additional craftspeople have their talents on display at Southern Shack. They all come from different states and backgrounds, and have their own unique styles, but each team member at the store loves history and the creative outlet of crafting. Lynne says she can’t say enough about the people she works with. “Everyone here owns their own individual business, we all have our own key and come in and rearrange or add to our displays anytime, but at the same time we all work together to create custom orders for customers, travel to craft shows, host classes, and plan the store’s future.”
In the last few years, Lynne’s business has taken root in the community and started to flourish. She’ll tell you with a laugh that it all started a bit unexpectedly, with a new sofa and a friendly competition. “I wanted a new sofa, but my husband wasn’t so sure. I’ve done furniture painting and restoring and crafts my whole life, and come from a large, competitive family. So at one point it became a competition, and I told him I’d pay for the sofa with money I earned from my crafts.” She spent a week rounding up and painting used furniture, then posted her finished projects on one of the Aberdeen rummage sale Facebook pages. It all sold, and within a few days she got to buy her new sofa. Restoring furniture soon became something she and her husband were doing together, and with the good response they were getting from customers, they decided to open the store shortly thereafter. They named it Southern Shack Designs as a tribute to Oklahoma, where Lynne is from.
Besides being a cozy place to browse things from the past, Southern Shack also keeps busy with custom orders. If someone finds a piece of furniture and wants help fixing it up, they will repaint it and restore it to the customer’s order. They also take requests for ‘treasure hunts,’ meaning a customer can contact them with a specific piece they’re looking for, and they’ll go searching for it. And if you have a special occasion, such as a wedding or baby shower, they’ll create decor and photo booths just for your event.
Before she opened Southern Shack, Lynne worked as a counselor and in the mental health field for over 20 years. Her passion for families has inspired the new craft classes for both adults and kids that take place at the store. Their classes are also customized, so participants can choose the project they want to complete, and the store will get the materials, host the class, and take care of cleanup. She says, “We’ve seen a lot of interest in people wanting to choose their own classes and crafts. It’s all about taking custom orders, and getting specifically what the customer wants.”
Lynne adds that combining history, families, and making new relationships with people has been the best part of running her business in a smaller community like Aberdeen. “We’ve made some of the best connections with people at the store. People will come in and just have a cup of coffee and visit sometimes. These good, honest relationships with others mean so much to me and everyone here, and I’ve gotten to know so many friends that I wouldn’t have met otherwise through this business.” // – Jenny Roth
Southern Shack Designs and Southern Shack Too are open Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Fridays from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. For more information, find them on Facebook, or call 605-377-4239.