After 15 successful years in downtown Georgetown, antique lover and world traveler Stephanie Ehrhardt said she decided to expand her business, Gatherings, from one store to two.
Ehrhardt bought a 1910 Methodist church at 701 N. Austin Ave. in June. The church was previously used as a wedding venue.
Ehrhardt said when he was looking for possible locations for his antique home decor and furnishings boutique, he remembers standing in the church garden and feeling like he had found paradise. “It’s so peaceful here,” Ehrhardt said. “My real estate agent suggested I look at storage space…but when I saw this place, it was like an aha moment.”
Ehrhardt opened the new location on Sept. 22 and will host a groundbreaking ceremony in November.
Unlike the original store, which will remain open, this location will focus entirely on European-style furniture and decor.
“I have the opportunity to travel to places like England, France [and] Belgium was really rewarding,” said Ehrhardt. “It’s really special to find beautiful pieces that you can feel the history of where it was, who touched it, who used it.”
Ehrhardt said he hand-picked every piece of furniture in his stores — including the dining tables, headboards, candle holders, cabinetry and planters.
He also said that while some pieces can be repaired, he prefers to keep the original finish and wear.
“It’s amazing how well some things are built,” he said. “It’s even more impressive to find pieces that have lasted that long.”
Ehrhardt also offered new, modern household items such as aprons, scented candles and hand towels for sale.
She joked that even though her late husband called her passion for shopping and antiquing an obsession, she found a way to make a living.
“I’m very blessed to wake up every day and do this,” Ehrhardt said. “I am grateful for the support of this community, my daughter Amanda, my family and my dear friends.”
Ehrhardt said he is open to helping customers find specific pieces.
“I always say when decorating a space, fill it with something you love,” Ehrhardt said. “So yes, show me photos of your living room; ask questions; I will be happy to help you make your home special.”
Original store: 1009 S. Austin Ave., Georgetown
Opening hours: Wed-Sat. 10:30am-5:30pm, Sun noon-4pm, closed HK.
New store: 701 N. Austin Ave., Georgetown
Opening hours: Thu.-Sat. 10:30-17:30, closed Sun-Wed.