Bradley Odom of Dixon Rye photographed by Chris Burden.
As a network of more than 3,000 small businesses, we’re paying close attention to how they’re faring in an age of stay-at-home orders and social distancing. In an effort to stay connected to our TSG community and share their stories, we’re “catching up with” different business owners every week to hear about their challenges, learn how they’re coping, and find out how they’re spending their time at home. Today, we’re checking in with Atlanta, Georgia-based Bradley Odom, interior designer (you may have seen his work in Traditional Home, the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, among other publications) and owner of the impeccably curated home furnishings store Dixon Rye. Here, he discusses how he’s taken advantage of the quiet to “shake things up” at the shop, finding joy in hikes with his six-month-old puppy, and listening to podcasts while experimenting in the kitchen.
What’s your business up to right now?
Like many [businesses in Georgia], as of May 11, we are slowly getting the shop back open, by appointment only for the time being. It’s been a thoughtful, careful process, as we want to ensure we’re protecting ourselves and our customers. Shortly after this all started, I came to the realization that when we re-emerged, I wanted us to do it by sorta shaking things up a bit. We spent a couple of weeks re-merchandising and thoroughly cleaning the entire shop to give it a fresh new look for spring/summer, a process that would have been much more of a challenge had we been open. We also took a leap of faith and continued ordering new items while we were closed. I’m probably most excited about our new “found” selections—planters from France, vintage chairs, and decorative accents.
We’ve continued to focus on our design projects that are in the works. We have new projects in Serenbe and Asheville that are both very exciting. Good clients make all the difference!
Your biggest challenge, professionally and/or personally:
I’m always more inspired by being with our team and in the shop. Not being able to do that has been difficult. We’ve been having bi-weekly Zoom calls so we can all share what we’re up to and just to see each other’s faces. Personally, exercise has been a big challenge…at-home workouts just aren’t my thing. Although I love to run, I’m really missing my group fitness classes. I don’t typically cook very often, but I’ve been determined to make a few new things while I’ve had all this time at home. I enjoyed roasting a whole chicken—it was a fun challenge for me.
What’s bringing you joy:
Stella, my six-month old puppy, has been a lifesaver during this time. It’s been great having a good companion for long walks and hiking. I also purchased a four-foot Licuala Elegans house plant to add some life to my WFH space. It’s such a beautiful plant and so nice to have something green in that space.
What you’re watching/reading/listening to:
I went through a period during the lockdown when I was spending every moment in front of Netflix. After watching Season 3 of Ozark and the entire season of Hollywood in one day, I had to get myself out of that rut. So I’m now listening to podcasts (while cooking!), cleaning my condo, playing with the dog. I’ve really enjoyed The mindbodygreen Podcast. It’s my woo woo moment of the day. I’m also an avid fan of the SuperSoul podcast with Oprah.
Your go-to snack:
Is Rosé considered a snack? I don’t typically snack, but I have found myself grazing throughout the day on chicken salad. It’s an issue! But I love taking the leftovers from the whole chicken I mentioned previously and making my mom’s chicken salad. Of course she does it better!
Your favorite family activity:
As I mentioned, I’ve really enjoyed long walks with Stella. We made our way to Sweetwater Creek for a six-mile hike a few Saturdays ago, which was really fun. My mom and I have been chatting daily. She’s been such a trooper by staying inside and fighting the urge to go out!
The local businesses/services you’re using this week:
I’ve tried to avoid large grocery stores as much as possible, so I’ve been taking advantage of Sun In My Belly’s new open air market. I’m able to pick up most fruits and veggies there. I’ve been utilizing the curbside pickup at Highland Pet Supply. I’ve continued to pick up my weekly bag of fresh coffee beans from one of my favorite coffee haunts, East Pole Coffee. Barcelona has been a lifesaver for lunches on the days I’ve been working in the store!