Madcap Marilyn's Mercantile

Before it was MaMa’s

Before it was MaMa’s

Ever feel like God’s guiding your path? That if you just listen you’ll be okay?

I listened to the whispers and found myself owning, restoring, and now placing on hold the restoration of Wayside Retreat.  Intended as a B&B, the Old Smith House in Abbeville, Georgia. After purchasing and doing research on the deeds for the property, I discovered my kin lived in Abbeville! He attended one of the 4 colleges they had in 1900 – it was Peter Cone.

One summer when my daughter came to visit, I got lost and turned around at another property for sale, which is now my forever home.  We both fell in love with it – small, secluded, and the possibility of a family compound. Not to mention a crick (not really wide enough to be a creek) in the backyard.

The entire time I was thinking of my Dad’s love of Norman Rockwell images and here I was moving from an Urban community straight into an updated version of these classic images.

When my Mama came out, she also fell in love – understanding my reasons for moving here.  When she passed away, I was looking for a way to honor her, to keep her memory and passions alive. I learned of an opportunity to open a small boutique and gift shop in Rochelle.  I wanted to help revitalize the downtown with a unique concept shopping destination.

An old school mercantile with everything she loved. A place for the community to gather, bring in things we need and things we want. Support local artists, entrepreneurs and small businesses. Focus on bringing in products that pay a fair wage, do social good, support charities or are American Made/owned.

Madcap Marilyn’s, or MaMa’s, is named for my mothers research and preservation of “Madcap” Mabel (Normand) – a silent screen actress and first woman to own her own studio – and my Mama “Marilyn” (Mae Cone Slater) – a historian in the film industry.

Again, after making the decision to take this chance, provided by High Rock Records to use their under utilized space to open my little shop, I discovered it was the old barber and beauty shop….. what could be more fitting – to honor my mom who’s first “job” in Hollywood was working as a hairdresser, with her future husband, my Dad, as the salon manager? 

Here, I was transforming an old “beauty shop” turned recording studio into something to keep the first woman studio owner and former hairdresser’s memories alive.  Madcap Mabel and my Mama Marilyn had a home.  I discovered my purpose.  Madcap Marilyn’s

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