Worth Every Dime at Orchard & Twine
By Sandie Tillery
By Sandie Tillery
Photos by Jeannine Hendrickson
Caris Smith and Mindy Warner appreciate beauty in found objects, whether useful or simply pleasing to the eye. That is where their worlds converged. The two met while working in rented spaces at Oregon Street Antique Mall. Smith displayed her favorite old things, while Warner showcased both found and repurposed items. They enjoyed going on shopping and “picking” forays together and began sharing dreams about opening their own store one day.
While dreamers keep dreaming, planners make things happen. Combining their energies and talents, Smith and Warner launched Orchard & Twine, an upscale gift and home decor store, in May 2014, as a “pop-up market” with limited storefront hours. They focused marketing on Instagram and Facebook. Periodic big sales events at their storefront in east Redding drew loyal and inquisitive new customers who shared their love of industrial/farm decor that has become Orchard & Twine’s signature.
They took the next big step in pursuit of their dreams almost two years to the day after their initial launch. Orchard & Twine has matured with regular days and hours of business at its new location on the north end of Hilltop Drive in Redding. The owners still work actively at online marketing. It’s been a cautious transition as they have built their customer base and inventory—easing into it, Smith says, always committed to financial responsibility. Smith manages the business end and marketing for Orchard & Twine, while Warner plans and designs an environment with warm aesthetics. Together they have created a successful partnership.
Warner sets the tone with monochromatic color schemes, subtle punches of seasonal color, and arrangements reminiscent of early twentieth-century European farmhouses. They purchase from wholesale markets that offer beautiful vintage furniture as well as reproductions and unique found items from Europe, pure cotton bath towels from Turkey and gift items from vendors closer to home. Sumptuous organic goat milk soaps come from Tennessee, while a good part of their metal work is created by an artisan in Sacramento.
The women love real wood and prefer handcrafted items. They like to mix styles and aesthetics, like placing a French baguette cart underneath an old mantle decorated with trophies and old books. Mounted antlers and an elk head on other walls complete the sense of homey elegance. They believe they are creating an environment that both men and women can appreciate.
Tony Newton became acquainted with Warner and Smith while shopping at Oregon Street Antique Mall in Redding. She later bought items from Warner at her Roses and Rust Vintage Market booth. Newton loves their passion for unique products and design. She says their new store is “my new favorite place. It’s like a breath of fresh air. I want to curl up with a good book and a glass of wine in their shop.” Newton recently purchased a one-of-a-kind butcher block that Warner and her husband found and added legs to before displaying in the store. Newton fell in love with it and bought it for her new home.
Smith continues to build their online presence, with Instagram their most successful venue. Since her early word of mouth and hand-delivered flyers, Smith has seen their faithful customer base grow. Now, she says, they are about 20 percent of their customers, with the rest responding to the online showcase as well as walk-in traffic at their new store.
The women have plans and visions still unrealized. Warner wants to create beautiful spaces that inspire others, and in the future to expand and diversify to include more gift items. She wants it to be a fun shopping experience for customers. Smith dreams of building a business that becomes a destination for travelers and where locals want to bring their out-of-town guests to shop. She says, “I’m so happy with the new location.”
940 Hilltop Drive, Redding