Nick and Carolyn McCarter are hoping to bring more local flavor to downtown Leesburg.
The husband and wife team are preparing for the May 6 opening of their new retail shop, 27 South Interiors, intuitively located at 27 S. King St.
The couple moved to Leesburg about five and a half years ago from Washington, DC, craving a desirable community to start a family. Moving from a condo to a bigger house, the couple found themselves in the DIY movement, and soon Carolyn McCarter turned her DIY design into a business.
“We were selling [home furnishing items] in Lucketts and at The Cottage in
Leesburg and had a lot of fun doing it,” she said.
The fun came from being able to turn a project around and being able to sell it and see the look on their happy customers’ faces, she said.
Having started another company in Washington, DC, Nick McCarter noticed that when they started applying more of a business sense to selling Carolyn’s DIY projects, there were better results. So the two began toying with the idea of opening a retail shop and when the South King Street storefront—which has formerly housed Savannah’s and the Olde English Manor became available—it was the final piece of the puzzle. While Nick focuses on the business operations, Carolyn is charged with design.
The McCarters will be rolling out their own design label in due time, however current offerings are high quality home furnishings made across the globe—from the U.S. to Hungary from Spain to Indonesia.
“Wherever we can find good quality stuff that meets the design eye,” Nick McCarter says.
Even locally. 27 South features oil paintings by an area artist and will be a base
for Darden Drake Designs, a design studio run by Lucy Campbell and Mary Lentine. The design studio will allow customers who want to create their own custom pieces to do so by working with the design team.
The McCarters gutted and renovated the South King Street building themselves, and plan to showcase their offerings on all three floors.
Carolyn McCarter describes the home furnishings available for sale at 27 South as catering to an “eclectic mix” of customers.
“It’s a combination of rustic farmhouse style meets transitional and traditional; it’s a pretty broad spectrum,” she said. “A lot of our elements can work in so many kinds of homes.”
The couple hopes to keep their inventory “fresh,” bringing in new pieces as others are sold and forging partnerships with high-quality furniture manufacturers to constantly bring new things to their customers.
While the offerings may have global reach, the focus for the McCarters is primarily on becoming a welcoming part of the downtown retail community. Next week’s grand opening celebration will be part of the town’s First Friday festivities, hosting a wine tasting by Dry Mill Vineyards in addition to its ribbon cutting. The duo hopes to regularly host fun events in their space and become yet another hub of activity in the reinvigorated downtown.
For more information about 27 South, go to 27-south.com or the 27 South Interiors Facebook page.