Sometimes love is lurking right around the corner. Or at Booth 64.
Sandy Springs residents Sue Green and Jeffrey Kerns can attest.
They fell in love as employees at Antiques and Interiors, a 33,000-square-foot antiques market in Sandy Springs. The two will be married at the store Sept. 10.
Their love story began when Green took a job as sales associate for the store about three years ago.
“I’d been single for a long time,” said Green, noting she divorced “a lifetime ago” in the early ‘80s. “The last thing on my mind was a relationship.”
But she soon noticed the quiet painter in Booth No. 64, Kerns, a portrait artist who works part-time in the store.
“I would come by and he would be painting,” Green said. “He looked so intent, I didn’t want to interrupt him.”
It wasn’t long before Green got up the courage to start a conversation.
“I said, ‘Hello.’ He looked up,” Green said. “We just chatted and kind of struck a chord.”
“I thought she had a pretty smile,” Kerns said, recounting that fateful day. “I just thought she was real nice. I felt comfortable with her.”
Green’s visits became more frequent. Through talking, the two found they had much in common.
“One thing we had in common was caring for our ill parents,” said Green, whose sick mother lives with her. Kerns also cared for his mother before her death.
The couple also discovered that their birthdays are a day apart and that Kerns lived for 25 years in a building that Green’s father built.
But the thing that really “wowed” Green was something that Kerns said when he met her mother.
“He called her ‘Mama Green,’” said the bride-to-be. That was the nickname the family had used for years. “I wondered, ‘Who told you to say that?’ It was endearing. It was another one of those human moments.”
As the relationship progressed, the couple felt it was time to tell the store owner, Rhonda Wigington.
Green said she and Kerns felt “like little kids” as they approached the office.
To their surprise, “everybody was so happy,” Green said. “She [Wigington] kidded us that she didn’t want to find us in some closet somewhere.”
“I was surprised, but happily surprised,” said Wigington, owner of Antiques and Interiors for five years. “I love both of them. They are adorable together.”
Kerns proposed to Green on May 12 as she sat on a bench in the backyard of the couple’s home in Sandy Springs.
“He sat down beside me,” Green said. “The first thing he said is, ‘I love you and it’s time.’ He got down on one knee in the leaves and asked me to marry me … I felt like a kid.”
Green and Kerns have invited about 50 people to their Sept. 10 wedding held in an open room toward the rear of the store.
“Everybody is very excited,” Green said.