For Durham resident Jessie Christopher, A Touch of Country isn’t just her first store, but a realization of a long time passion for country-style furnishings.
“I just always loved this furniture. I always loved … rustic, distressed, weathered, cracked, chipped, anything,” Christopher said while pointing to items like a chipped fireplace mantle and the distressed wood cashier counter she and her husband refinished.
A Touch of Country, located at 354 Main St., opened its doors on June 1. It is stocked with American-made country-style furniture, photos, candles, and other decor.
Inspired by a similar country-store in Vermont, Christopher always wanted her own business. However as a full-time mom for several years and a part-time employee for others, she had to wait. Then one Sunday morning last fall she was having breakfast with her husband and decided it was time.
She started planning and eventually found a site.
“It kind of just happened, it just fell into place,” said Christopher, who has lived in town for 16 years. She said the first week of being open was surreal.
“It was like it wasn't really happening, like I was in a dream,” Christopher said.
When first considering the idea, Christopher asked friend Jeannine Meisenkothen, owner of Posh Picks Boutique, what she thought. Meisenkothen, who refinishes furniture and creates decorative wood blocks, said she was really excited.
“It’s perfect for our town...I think it suits a lot of homes in town and the whole historic feel of the town,” Meisenkothen said.
Some of Meisenkothen’s refinished items are for sale at A Touch of Country.
Most of the furniture comes from Amish country in Pennsylvania. Christopher transports it back to Connecticut herself.
“I just want people to come in and find that one piece that's just going to add to their house,” she said.
The store’s hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday, but may change depending on the needs of customers. Christopher plans to open Wednesdays starting in September. As hours and events change, she said she will update the store’s social media accounts on Facebook and Instagram.