Vintage enthusiasts can now browse a selection of vintage and up-cycled, as well as thrift and hand-sewn items at 2 Vintage Farm Girls.

Open since the start of September, the new vintage and thrift store is a dream come true for business owner Tammy Banks, who runs the store alongside her mom Martha Willett.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Banks said. “I just didn’t have the nerve, but this year has given me some nerve.”

After working as a nurse for 27 years, Banks retired before she started work as a paper carrier for The Greeneville Sun, which she did for the past three years. Banks said the hardships of the pandemic caused her to think more seriously about opening the shop.

“It was now or never,” Banks said.

Much of the current vintage and thrift stock comes from Banks’ and Willett’s collections that they have built over the years.

“She’s the other farm girl,” Banks said. “We’ve collected vintage for years.”

There are currently two rooms open for the mix of clothing and various other items, including some refurbished furniture, but Banks said she hopes to open a third room later on for just furniture.

“I look for things that need a facelift,” Banks said.

Banks gave a facelift to a small, old-fashioned bench, now for sale in 2 Vintage Farm Girls, with new upholstery and paint.

“It just needed some TLC, and I enjoy doing stuff like that,” Banks said.

Banks said she enjoys vintage clothes of all eras and browsing garage and estate sales for such finds. She said she would also take anything vintage from anyone who is looking to downsize.

“It’s not just about reselling,” Banks said. “It’s about preservation and appreciation. Old stuff is just made better than they make it now.”

Banks also enjoys looking for things for other people.

“One of the things I try to do is if people tell me they’re looking for something and I don’t have it, I will look and try to get it for them,” Banks said. “I love to help people find something they’ve been wanting.”

If her love of vintage and old things has a particular origin, Banks said it would likely be when she was 9 and her grandmother, also named Martha Willett, gave her an uncut movie ticket from the Palace Theatre, which was once located downtown on Depot Street until it closed around 1960.

Banks said she found the pink 15-cent ticket in the bottom of a drawer at her grandmother’s house and immediately found it interesting.

“I still have it. I’ve always cherished it,” Banks said.

Martha R. Willett, Banks’ grandmother, also introduced Banks at a young age to sewing through hand quilting.

“I’ve really rekindled that interest,” Banks said.

Banks has been sewing masks, which she said she gave to other paper carriers at the start of the pandemic, as well as pincushions and Christmas stockings. She also embroiders tea towels.

A selection of holiday masks, ready for Halloween, are available in the store, and Banks said she plans to continue for other upcoming holidays.

Also on the topic of Halloween, Banks said that thrift stores can be a great source for costume pieces.

“You want something different,” Banks said. “A thrift store is the best place in the world to get a Halloween costume.”

Of the name of the shop, Banks said it is an appreciation of her roots.

“I’m country and I’m a farm girl,” Banks said. “I’ve milked cows and cut tobacco, and I appreciate where I come from.”

“I’m having fun,” Banks added. “I’m doing what I like, and it feels like second nature.”

Located at 311 Tusculum Blvd., 2 Vintage Farm Girls is open Tuesday through Saturday. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Thursday and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday.

The shop does not yet have an online presence, but Banks can be reached with questions or for more information about the store at 470-6847 or 2vintagefarmgirls@gmail.com.

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