JONESVILLE — When Julia Bowman and Carolyn Brown came up with the name for their variety store they didn’t know that the name that occurred to them had special significance for many of the Jonesville residents who patronize their store and the flea market they recently opened.
“We were just riding down the road brainstorming and she (Brown) said ‘Put down Hazel’s House,’” Bowman said. “I said ‘Who is Hazel?’ and she said ‘I don’t know, it just came to me.’”
That was how Bowman and Brown’s store, Hazel’s House Variety Shop, got its name.
“We didn’t want a regular thrift store name on our store,” Brown said. “It (Hazel’s House) seemed warm and cozy and whimsical and like somewhere you would want to go or visit.”
Bowman and Brown live in Jonesville and not long after they opened their store they learned from their customers the significance of the name.
“We later realized that the home we live in was owned by a lady named Hazel,” Brown said. “So it just makes everybody smile to know that name just kind of dropped out of the sky. Everybody loved Hazel and used to visit her, they loved visiting Hazel.”
They can now enjoy a visit to Hazel’s House Variety Shop which opened the last week of September. Brown said the shop, which is located at 935 Forest St., Suite 1, Jonesville, is not only a place where people can shop, but also where they can sit and visit with the store’s staff and/or other people they meet there.
“We have a little sitting area in the back where people can come in visit with us or each other,” Brown said. “They’ll see somebody they’ll know, pull up a chair and just visit.”
“It’s a cozy shop where come and sit and visit,” Bowman said. “Sometimes folks will just come in and sit and have coffee and talk. They’ll talk about old things.”
The shop is located next to the Forest Street Grill which Brown said makes it convenient for visitors and/or shoppers at lunchtime.
“When they get hungry they can go next door to the grill and have lunch,” Brown said, adding that the grill is owned by a member of Hazel’s family.
Hazel’s House Variety Shop also gets its name from the variety of its merchandise.
“We have books, we have movies, we have all kinds of music from record albums to tapes and we even have some 8-tracks,” Brown said. “We have replacement china and depression glass. We have household items and modern and antique furniture. We have hard to find items like old bottles and jars. We have vintage lamps including the kerosene variety. We have glassware and we have chests and we have complete sets of baseball cards. That why we call it a variety shop, because we have some of everything.”
Bowman and Brown opened the store after acquiring a large number of items by purchasing the contents of abandoned storage units.
“I retired from teaching in June and I wasn’t really ready to retire so we had to find something to do,” Bowman said. “We started playing storage wars like on TV. Then we needed a place to sell all of that so we opened Hazel’s House.”
Hazel’s House is open from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Barely five months after they opened Hazel’s House, Bowman and Brown have opened the Jonesville Indoor Flea Market in response to repeated requests for them to sell on consignment.
“The flea market is a spin-off of Hazel’s House because we are not a consignment shop,” Brown said. “Folks would come in and want us to sell on consignment but we don’t have the room to do that. So our solution was to open the flea market.”
“We opened the flea market and they can rent tables and sell their own things,” Bowman said. “They get two tables for ten dollars or for twelve dollars with electricity. This is a seventy-eight hundred-square-foot building which was originally a skating rink. It was later used as a bingo center which is why we have so many tables and chairs. That’s why we’re able to provide everyone with two tables.”
Bowman said the flea market has clean indoor bathrooms and a snack bar.
The flea market, which is located at 821 Spartanburg Highway (S.C. 9), Jonesville, is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but vendors can set up their tables at 7 a.m.
While Hazel’s House and the Jonesville Indoor Flea Market are their businesses, Brown said she hopes they can provide an economic boost to Jonesville and Union County.
“I hope that we have given Jonesville a shot in the arm,” Brown said. “The flea market can bring people in who will also go to the restaurants and the dollar store. I just want our community to grow.”
For more information about Hazel’s House Variety Shop and/or the Jonesville Indoor Flea Market, call 864-706-1355 or 864-706-1354.