SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Locally Made Savannah celebrated its grand opening Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Visitors not only got to witness the official ribbon cutting, but also had the opportunity to meet local art
SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Locally Made Savannah celebrated its grand opening Thursday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Visitors not only got to witness the official ribbon cutting, but also had the opportunity to meet local art vendors and sample food and drinks at the shop’s soda and milkshake bar.
Originally from Atlanta, owners Nick and Tonya Rintye moved to Savannah 18 years ago.
“Our daughter was born here. We moved here 18 years ago for work and what was supposed to be maybe four years, we decided we didn’t want to move anywhere else,” Nick said.
The couple had their sights set on becoming business owners one day, and after opening The Hipster Hound – a boarding house, daycare and grooming shop – they decided to open Locally Made Savannah on Broughton Street, in right in the heart of historic Savannah.
“My husband Nick and I were walking down Broughton Street a few years ago and realized there weren’t any local stores that sold a lot of locally made items here in the tourist section of historic Savannah,” said Tonya. “So we decided this was a golden opportunity for us to do that.”
Nick said becoming a business owner was all about timing, and he got the idea for Locally Made Savannah after meeting various vendors at the Wilmington Island Farmers Market.
“I remember we were there under a tree and I was like, ‘All of these things should be in one place’.”
Barbara Frazier is a full-time salesperson who makes and sells items like serving boards at Locally Made Savannah.
“I have always been involved in art. I’ve always loved art,” she said. “It started when I was a little kid like 4 years old, 5 years old. I always loved going to all the museums and seeing all the artwork and I was always drawing.
“As I got older, I was doing murals on the side for people and I was still doing some type of craft.”
After seeing various pieces of wood in his neighborhood, Frazier decided not only to make serving boards out of them, but also to carve designs into them.
“I’ve always loved drawing and I happened to see someone burning something onto a video. I got the tool and started burning and practicing and that was it – I loved it,” Frazier said. “Then I thought, why not light it up with a propane torch when I’m done? It just makes it look better and that’s it.
“So people must think I’m a little weird when they walk past my driveway sometimes and see me in the garage,” she joked.
Sharmequa Franklin is an earring salesperson at Locally Made Savannah.
“I’ve been making earrings for about three years. I started during the pandemic when COVID hit,” Franklin said.
“I was in my day job as a human resources manager for a bank in Statesboro. My husband was like, ‘You have to find something that’s going to put you in a happy place.’ He said, ‘I think you need to go back to painting and making jewelry,’ so that’s what I did,” she explained.
Hailing from Hampton, South Carolina, Franklin enjoys selling his designs in the Hostess City.
“I like selling things in Savannah because of the culture,” she explained. “I think Savannah has such a melting pot of people.
“Not everyone likes razzle dazzle, but sometimes I find that when they start wearing it, and it’s so light, and it’s so easy to wear, they really like it,” Franklin said. . “I really like what Tonya does here and all the handmade artists.”
Tracey Richburg is a local saleswoman who moved to Savannah because of the military 16 years ago.
However, she enjoyed creating art long before that.
“My mom and I loved going to street fairs, and I would see where other artists had done stuff and watch it and go home and try to do it myself,” Richburg said. “You kind of have this creative instinct in you, but then life takes over, and then you work and you don’t really have time to pursue things like that.”
She started making pieces at the end of 2019 for a very specific reason.
“In 2018, I was diagnosed with a brain tumour. So in 2019 I had radiosurgery,” Richburg explained. “With this radiation and this tumor, it kind of disturbed my mind, my memory and my cognitive abilities, etc.
“I think working with resin as a hobby kind of helped me with my memory and things like that. It was kind of like therapy.”
Her handmade ornaments, jewelry, cutting boards, serving boards, wall hangings and key rings can be purchased at Locally Made Savannah.
For more information on locally made Savannah, visit this link.
Find more works of the artists on Instagram: