By Danna Thompson
As I walk in to chat with Karen Anne Briggs, designer and owner of Green Pomegranate, two customers are fussing over how adorable her shop is. This isn’t what caught my attention however, because her pieces are definitely adorable. It was when they went to check out and Karen was able to tell them where the fabric came from! To their surprise and delight this little ruffled dress had once been a bridesmaid’s gown – don’t we all have too many of those in our closet?
Nestled in the heart of the Virginia Highlands, Green Pomegranate is a place where recycling meets timeless splendor. Whether it’s made from a pillowcase, hand-stitched napkin or vintage flour sack circa 1930’s-every piece breaths new life in forgotten fabrics. The shorts and pants for boys originate from adult pants and the appliqué on the tees comes from distressed sweaters. The concept came to Karen while she was folding her grandmother’s linens and decided they were too pretty to sit in a drawer. She has designed and sewn her entire life, watching her mother make hand-crafted matching dresses for her and her siblings.
Green Pomegranate: We support local thrift shops and one of my favorites is the Salvation Army. (They also have a recycle bin outside the shop for drop offs)
Danna: Where do you draw inspiration for your designs?
Green Pomegranate: I draw inspiration from high-end heritage pieces, but with a contemporary twist…like Anthropologie. Striving for uniquely southern pieces that are eco-friendly.
Danna: How did you come up with the name Green Pomegranate?
Green Pomegranate: I grew up on a farm in California surrounded by nature, playing under the pomegranate tree we had in the barnyard, and the name brings me back to childhood. That’s the experience people have when coming through our doors, we have vintage toys for children to play with and fabrics made with a quality that is so rare today. Also, the pomegranate is a symbol of regeneration, of life and longevity.
Danna: If you are doing the designing and running a bustling shop…who does all the sewing?
Green Pomegranate: Everything is cut by hand here in the shop or my home studio then passed off to local seamstresses. We also do some bartering with local artists!
Danna: Since you’ve turned your passion into a thriving business, what do you do to get away and relax?
Green Pomegranate: I consult some on the side, walking and reading and spending time with my two grown daughters. Recently I read The Botany of Desire.
Just shy of a first year anniversary, Green Pomegranate will open a second shop located in the Serenbe community on May 1. Thursday nights the Virginia Highlands shop hosts sewing clinics that are open to the public. All levels are welcome to bring projects and questions; it is $35 for 1.5 hours. www.agreenpomegranate.com
Lexie + Jane Grand Opening Party: Enjoy lite bites by Mosaic Restaurants, music by Black Dominoes, and great gift bags from 6-10 p.m. tonight (April 7).
Fab Friday at Heilotrope: 20% off everything in the Decatur store on April 23 from 6-11 p.m., enjoy wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Earth Day at Evolve Boutique: Sales event at Decatur shop to celebrate Earth Day with storewide deals, April 22-25.