Kith & Kindred in the Artist’s Colony.

Corbin Parmer | The Democrat

Mother-daughter duo Tonya and Maryrose Augsburger cheerfully greet any and all who enter their new store in downtown Nashville, which opened its doors to the public at the beginning of last month.

Named Kith &Kindred, the store invites friendship and connection to those searching for gifts and goods from both local and well-known, world-wide artists this holiday season.

Kith & Kindred replaces Carol’s Gifts, located at the Artist’s Colony shops off Van Buren Street, which had been owned by Carol and David Derbyshire since the building was originally built more than 40 years ago.

Tonya explained last week that the name originated from a 13th century phrase, meaning friends and family. But, she also emphasized that it is more than just a name.

“Its not just a phrase, its a feeling — of warm welcome and hospitality. It’s remembering where you came from and embracing where you are, where you’re going, and how the new people around you become your friends and family,” she said.

Tonya said family is very special to her, and she wishes to extend the feeling she described to all who come in to the store.

“When people walk in, I want them to see smiling faces,” she said.

Tonya and Maryrose Augsburger at the register in Kith & Kindred. Corbin Parmer | The Democrat

The part she enjoys of owning a business most is the opportunity to share stories and connect with customers as they shop, and the name is meant to reflect that experience.

“One of the really neat things about Nashville, that keeps people coming back year after year, is the experience they have here and the connections you make with the people,” she said.

“It’s very important.”

She said never assumed she would be a business owner in Nashville, Ind.

She grew up in Pittsburgh, Penn., where she met and married her husband, Kyle. Together they moved to Columbus, OH to work and raise a family.

In Ohio, she and Kyle had five children. Six years ago, the family moved to Indiana after Kyle got a job at a ministry in Brown County.

Tonya started working at Foxfire Boutique around four years ago.

While there, she came to know and form a connection with Terry Derbyshire, daughter of the Derbyshires.

She worked at Foxfire for around two years, then transitioned to Carol’s Gifts. Through her time working at the two stores, she formed a deep friendship with the Derbyshire family, which she said also played a part in the store’s name.

David and Carol owned Carol’s Gifts for 42 years, an according to Tonya, they wished for retirement for a long time.

She said they all prayed for someone to come along and buy the store.

Tonya said she loved the store, and for a while she and her husband considered buying it themselves.

“We never thought that it would be us, that we were going to do it. But I thought about it, that it would be a great store,” she said.

Earlier this year, a different buyer came along and set up a deal with the Derbyshires while the Augsburgers were discussing it.

The deal for the store was set to close the final week of October, before the Augsburgers could make their final decision about buying it.

Then, suddenly, the deal in the works with the other buyer fell through. Tonya said she talked to the Derbyshires and told them they wanted to buy Carol’s Gifts.

The process of purchasing the store and transferring ownership, and all the paperwork that entails, was estimated to take around three months, according to Tonya. However, she said it ended up happening after only 18 days.

“I think we’re all kind of shocked. I didn’t anticipate this happening at all, it just kind of fell in our laps, and everything came together just really quickly,” she said.

Tonya said operating Kith & Kindred is a family affair. Her two daughters, Maryrose and Valerie, help with day-to-day operations like running the register and inventory management, and her husband does the bookkeeping.

Tonya also said her sons help when they can, with one even driving with his wife from their home in Columbus, OH to assist.

After gaining possession of the store on Oct. 31, the family closed the store on Nov. 1 to rearrange the desk, merchandise and shelving to make the store their own. Doors officially opened to the public Nov. 2.

Even though they made changes to the store’s layout, Tonya said it is important to her to maintain and respect the history of Carol’s Gifts.

She pointed out an area of the store just to the right of the desk, which she called “Carol’s Legacy Area.”

In it were many of the iconic artists that the Derbyshires carried for years, such as Jim Shore, Laurie Mitchell and Lang Calendars.

“I love the fact that it’s Carol and Dave’s iconic store,” she said.

“So, that old faithful, we’ll still keep, and then we’ll add on as well.”

So far Kith &Kindred features a few more local products.

One of which is Primrose Candles, which are produced just south of Indianapolis. Tonya said she met the owner of the business at last year’s Christkindl Market.

The store also has a line of jewelry, called Whimsy, produced by a past Nashville resident who recently moved to Florida.

Another locally-produced line of merchandise offered at the store is called Evergreen, owned and operated by Maryrose and Valerie.

They specialize in wood burning and painting, and they create a unique nativity scene and tree ornaments every year.

There are more local options in the store, and Tonya said she wishes to keep adding and growing.

She said her ultimate goals are to compliment other local stores, rather than compete with them, and maintain the integrity of the things people knew and loved about Carol’s Gifts, while bringing more of what she thinks Nashville is known for, which is local artists.

“When new people come in, I generally take them on a tour, because this is Nashville, and this is the Artist’s Colony, and I feel like if you don’t leave here knowing at least one new artist, I feel like I’ve failed my job,” she said.

While Tonya is shocked at how quickly the store entered her hands, she is also hopeful and excited for what the future holds for her and her family in their new role as Nashville store owners.

“It’s just a fun town,” she said.

“I love when the other shopkeepers come over and visit. It’s just a wonderful community. It’s just a really neat place.”

Kith & Kindred

Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday

Location: 125 S. Van Buren St.

Phone: 812-988-6388

Email: [email protected]

Facebook: Kith & Kindred