SMYRNA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two Rutherford County residents used downtime during the pandemic to pursue their dream projects.
Along North Lowry Street in Smyrna, their building has been a shoe store and mortgage company, but most recently it sat vacant until now.
"When people come in here they say ‘that’s a vibe,’ and that lets me know that it puts them in a very good place," said Lovely Lancaster.
Lancaster is an Army veteran and business consultant who has converted one section of the building into a co-working office and café. She named it Sellebrity Co-working and Business Solutions. It's equipped with technology to help entrepreneurs and independent contractors as we take steps to rebound from the pandemic.
"A lot of this has been so fun because we found out that we are an architect, and a plumber, and electrician, and I didn’t know this, but I’m a good painter," Lancaster said.
On the other side of the wall, Calvin Gatlin hand-built a humidor, cigar lounge, and a bar where business leaders in Smyrna can converse. "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am quite excited to see furniture go in, floors start to shine, and just see what my customers are going to feel," Gatlin said.
When business slowed during the pandemic, Gatlin put his heart and soul into this investment in honor of his father who was a successful bar and club owner in another state. The business has been named Southern Flare Cigar & Social Lounge. "It means a lot,” Gatlin said, “And I hope it shows those that even in tough times, that’s when you got to persevere to that, persevere and accomplish, stay with your goals."
He's not alone in the endeavor. He has Lovely by his side, and they're now engaged! Lancaster said, "What greater gift than that: is to share your dreams with the person you love the most."
The co-working space is open, and they’re accepting members. Go here for more information. Their goal is to have the cafe, cigar lounge, and bar officially open over Memorial Day Weekend.
Once this project is complete, they will start planning a wedding with all their family and friends.
What is the rebound?
As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it's getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we're committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.
Find more in the sections below
More Safely Back to School storiesHow schools are changing, and what you can do to help your child get the most from their education, in-person or virtual
Getting Back To WorkLearn about the latest job openings, how to file for benefits and succeed in the job market.
Making Ends MeetFind help on topics from rent to food to new belt-tightening techniques.
Managing the PressureFeeling isolated or frustrated? Learn ways to connect with people virtually, get counseling or manage your stress.
Doing What’s RightKeep track of the way people are spending your tax dollars and treating your community.
State of EducationFind ways to cope with the new normal around schools and celebrate students’ success in the age of Coronavirus.
We're Open Y'allSupport local businesses doing their best to stay open and serve their customers during Covid.