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A day in the Valley

By Paul Viau | Jul 18, 2013
Photo by: Paul Viau VINTAGE POTPOURRI — A day in the Valley is a treasure trove for antique lovers, history buffs, and shoppers with style.

There’s something about Maggie Valley that draws visitors by the droves, week after week during “the season.”

As a biker, I know that much of Maggie’s draw is close proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Smoky Mountain National Park — and the well-placed Wheels Through Time Museum.

As an avid consumer of “good eats” I am also drawn to Maggie’s signature restaurants — J. Arthur’s, Frankie’s Trattoria, Legends (with my personal favorite burger) and the undisputed heavyweight of food draws in Haywood County — Joey’s Pancake House.

All of these are great reasons to spend part of  “a day in the valley,” but none can match the charm and mountain magic of Maggie Mountaineer Crafts.

For decades, visitors have wandered the aisles of this picturesque shop — pouring over mounds of mountain souvenirs, collectibles, decorative signs, pocket knives, T-shirts, mugs, candles, potpourri — Heck, the whole store is a potpourri of interesting things, and there is truly “something for everyone” — Oh, did I forget to mention the (my mouth is watering) homemade fudge?

OMG It’s D-lish.

(Pause) I need to dry off my keyboard.

Back to the subject of Maggie Mountaineer Crafts — I marvel at the depth and variety of merchandise, and the wonderful way everything is displayed. Co-owners Sue and Brad Pendley have done a masterful job.

Much of the credit for MMC’s artistry goes to Brad Pendley, who is a both creative and driven.

While many people hibernate during the winter, Pendley is hard at work placing orders and sourcing new and exciting merchandise lines.

In his spare time, Pendley is also a “picker” — traveling the area in search of interesting antiques and artifacts.

Last winter, Pendley combined his merchandising panache and personal passion for antiques, to launch a themed section of Maggie Mountaineer Crafts, named “A day in the Valley.”

To make room, he went through all of the merchandise throughout the store and weeded out everything that seemed “dated.” He loaded up a U-Haul truck full of those goodies and donated them to Haywood Christian Ministry.

Then, with the help of a friend and fellow picker, Nancy Mehaffey, Pendley started sourcing “a few good, unique pieces” to serve as interesting display points. This included primitive pie safes, rustic rocking chairs, sideboards and a number of what Pendley calls “smalls” — rocking horses, coffee grinders, tobacco planters and quilt stands.

“A day in the Valley” has many, many quilt stands, because one of Pendley’s passions is nicely preserved, antique quilts. He has a number on display, some dating back to the 1890’s, and all are immaculate — and affordable.

“I try to be really fair on price,” said Pendley,” who is proud to be, “a keeper of history.”

“A day in the Valley” has several genuine, hand-crafted, antique quilts on display, priced from $295 to $395. Many new, but beautifully machined, quilts are also available for a much-more-affordable $195.

The many antiques displayed throughout the store have placards describing each item in detail, including the history and providence. Pendley enjoys the hunt and the research. He says, of the collection, “This stuff means a lot to me.”

Of course, there are many other items for sale at “A day in the Valley” — too many to mention — but all seem right at home with the rustic and the reclaimed.

Pendley has personally arranged all of the displays himself, even throwing in a few original floral displays.

“A day in the Valley” is a feast for the eyes, and a wonderful addition to Maggie Mountaineer Crafts. I think it’s a “must see” for locals and visitors.

Maggie Mountaineer Crafts (including “A day in the Valley”) is located at 2394 Soco Road in Maggie Valley. For more information, call 926-3129.

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