by Lam Ho
On Sept. 26, the eclectic new vintage store, Amish Hippie, opened up in Monteagle. Owner Marla Sitten sells an array of homemade soaps and lotions as well as a wide selection of Indian jewelry. Reminiscent of the sixties and seventies, the new business welcomes not only Sewanee students, but also nostalgic members of the Monteagle community.
Partnering with The Smoke House, owned by JD Oliver, Sitten aims to please a musical crowd and welcome families to the Amish Hippie. As a journalist and events organizer of the music industry in Nashville, Sitten opened up the Amish Hippie in hopes that it would attract the attention of not only University students, but any visitors who want a cozy place to spend time and look at interesting novelties. With such interesting goods on sale, Amish Hippie has received interest from countless shoppers.
An audience comes to The Smoke House each weekend, offering a promise of business traffic for the new store. Moreover, Sewanee students have welcomed Amish Hippie with open arms. Even tourists on their way to distant places have gotten off the interstate to find out what a store called “Amish Hippie” would sell.
The objective is to offer a rich experience that mixes handmade items and hippie-inspired jewelry and clothing. Within the store, guests find vintage clothes, jewelry with seventies flair, and Amish baskets and soaps. Moreover, the middle section of the building has books and seats. It may be a place to buy unique gifts, but the environment encourages relaxed conversation over their famous Hippie Spice Tea and local-made key lime pie.
“We want the experience to be genuine,” Sitten explained. “This is the beginning, and it’s going to evolve over time.”
It’s been about three weeks since the Amish Hippie made its debut, but Sitten has been in business for more than 30 years. Commuting all the way from Nashville, she comes each day to her new business not only to market trinkets, but to get to know the people of the community.
“Nearly every person under the age of 40 who’s stopped at the gas station next door has peeked in. What surprises me is that older farmers… seem to want us to succeed.” Monteagle has given the Amish Hippie a warm welcome, some visitors buying just a cup of warm coffee to contribute to the unique goal that Sitten has in mind. The friendly atmosphere of the Amish Hippie is sure to become more popular in the future. With Wi-Fi soon to be installed, the doors will be open to visitors to spend extended periods of time there.
As a warm hello to the University, Sitten has decided to offer 10% off to students and faculty who show their IDs and 20% off for those who spend more than $50.To find out more, search “Amish Hippie” on Facebook or take a spontaneous trip to Monteagle to smell the soaps, drink the tea, and try on the colorful scarves!