High Springs residents Kim Slone and Christy Swilley followed through on their 2021 brainstorm to create and sell local merchandise, even adding a brick-and-mortar location.
High Springs Mercantile opened at the end of November 2022 off Main Street downtown. The store sells High Springs-branded shirts, stickers, mugs and more.
Slone said the duo planned to start selling online, but their small location opened for rent in the fall.
“We jumped on it and had to fast forward our plans for what we wanted to start with,” Slone said.
The store aims to celebrate local businesses and share the history of the city. Right now, the store opens on weekends, Friday through Sunday, but Slone said they hope to expand hours into the regular week before long.
She said the store tries to obtain all products locally and also directs visitors to other businesses across the street or around the corner. Earnings come from Swilley Designs, and the store’s High Springs Blend coffee comes from a roaster in Keystone Heights.
“We're trying to get what we can sourced through the state,” Slone said. “It’s difficult, but we try our hardest.”
Many of the products come from Rad Wear, based out of Gainesville, and Slone said the partnership allows the store to try different colors and smaller batches of products. She added that the store continues researching which products to offer and asking customers what they’d like to see.
Slone has lived in High Springs for 25 years after moving from Hawthorne, and Swilley’s roots go back six generations in the city.
Even with more than two decades of High Springs living, Slone said she’s learned more about the city since opening the shop. One wall features a 1913 plat of the city with railroads crisscrossing, and the store uses a display case from the old general store.
“We look forward to maybe growing out of our space and being able to offer more for the community and for people coming in to check out our cool little town,” Slone said.