By Mike Steely
Friends Forever Antiques and Collectables shop is located at 5716 Western Avenue just across from the Cumberland Estates Shopping Center and the name tells the story.
Friends Forever is just that, a variety of rooms decorated and supplied by about 10 different antique enthusiasts that include the owner, Christine Housley, as well as Judy Carter, Kathy Hoskins, Linda Gamble, Fran Owens, Francis Conwell, Connie Beal and Lewis Rutherford.
Each person offers their selection of antiques and collectables and Housley oversees everything. All of the items, everything from dinnerware to antique dolls, are sorted and displayed in a very organized way. Within the shop you can find lots of items like vinyl records, gift items, collectables, hand-made items, furniture, art works, and much more.
“I have 35 to 40 years in the business,” Housely told The Focus, citing her years with shops like Twin Gables. “All of the vendors take care of their own stalls.”
Married for 60 years to Anderson H. Housley, who is semi-retired from White Stores and Food City, she is deeply involved with her family. She lost one of two daughters in 2000, has two grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and four step-grandchildren. She takes two days a week off to care of her grandchildren.
Friends Forever opened in January and she says she loves being with people and friends.
“I love the atmosphere here,” Housley explains.
A walk around the shop finds different vendor items in each room. Some of the items belong to Housley and there are sections that feature various items from multiple vendors.
“I know a lot of people and I’m doing mail-out cards. I have customers who have followed me here, people from North Carolina, Kentucky, and even a couple from Pennsylvania come here,” she said.
“We’re trying to get the word out,” she said of the new store.
Friends Forever is open from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. You can contact the shop by calling (865) 357-2150. You can also find Friends Forever on Facebook.