Mango’s Decor and Co. Opens in the Old City

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

A new store opened last week in the Old City at 111 N. Central Street inside the same building as the Melting Pot. Featuring “upscale home decor at a competitive price,” the store sits on the northern edge of the Old City, just across the tracks from the soon-to-be-available apartments at the White Lily Building. Just across the street the old Patrick Sullivan’s location has been beautifully renovated and appears to be ready for a new occupant.

There are a couple of other locations of Mango’s Decor and Company. One opened in Chattanooga a couple of months ago and another at 309 S. Northshore in west Knoxville, opened in February. The one on Northshore is owned by Jennifer Smelser who co-owns the Central Street Location with Shawn Wise.

Shawn Wise, Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Shawn Wise, Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

I met Shawn on a beautiful Knoxville afternoon and a week into the new store’s operations she was still unpackaging lamp shades and other pieces for her floor samples. She said it is like Christmas every day as new merchandise arrives for the new store. And Christmas has arrived, as well, as some Christmas decor is already in evidence. A large Christmas tree sits decorated and waiting hopefully beside the counter.

The counter itself is a story, as it was harvested from the soon-to-be re-developed John H. Daniel Building. Both buildings are owned by John Clark. Shawn was working for him when she first noticed the space she now occupies. She encouraged him to lease it to someone, but only after working Saturdays for her friend Jennifer at the west location of Mango’s did she consider leasing it herself.¬†Matching up her love for home decor with this appealing space seemed like a perfect idea.

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

She took an unlikely path to this point. She grew up on the move as a part of a military family before landing in north Knox County where she’s now lived for over thirty-five years. She worked for many years as a management consultant for a medical company. After he experience in home decor retail, she quit her long-term job to open the new store. She said her husband, who works with the Knox Country Sheriff’s department has been very supportive of the venture.

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

The name of the store is derived from the fact that the wood used in making the furniture is harvested from the Mango tree. It’s actually an ecologically sound wood to use. The mango tree grows to sixty to one hundred feet tall. Growth stops at about twenty years and it stops producing fruit. Mango farmers in the past cut down the trees and let them rot while new trees were planted. Now the wood is used, meaning it doesn’t rot (which produces carbon dioxide), farmers have another source of income and endangered wood like teak is saved from being harvested in the wild. It is also a very durable wood.

Entrance to 111 N. Central Street, Knoxville, October 2014

Entrance to 111 N. Central Street, Knoxville, October 2014

Shawn Wise, Mango's Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

Shawn Wise, Mango’s Decor and Co., Knoxville, October 2014

The store has a large selection of furniture and all the fabric on the furniture is made in the U.S. by the Mayo Furniture Company in Texas. A number of pieces can be personalized with different stains on the woods and other variations to suit the customer. The furniture and accessories represent a range of styles, many of which were selected with an urban aesthetic in mind. The store shares space in the building with the Melting Pot, Garrett Manry Massage Studio, and Fitness Studio 111. Their hours are Noon – 7:00 PM Monday through Friday and 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Saturday. Check them out and tell Shawn you read it here.

Zombies in the City, 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

It’s that time of year, again. This past Saturday the Zombie Apocalypse descended on Krutch Park for the 2014 Knoxville Zombie Walk. If you like the macabre or if you just enjoy amazing make-up jobs, or if you suspect zombies might just be real, this was the place to be. I was there early, so I’m not sure how many zombies gathered for the actual walk but, clearly, lots of people are into just this kind of thing.

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

I’ll admit, I’ve never been so much into the whole dress-up thing. I can remember being a wolf once and maybe the random ghost (cheap sheet with holes in it), pirate or cowboy (already had the guns), but once I got a little older I kind of fell out of the whole costume thing. I’ve also never seen a zombie movie, so I’m pretty much unqualified for this assignment.

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

J. Adam Smith of Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

J. Adam Smith of Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

I did go ghost hunting once with J. Adam Smith and his Haunted Knoxville Ghost Tours, so I do have that training experience. He was there along with his tricked-out hearse. I also spent many Saturday mornings as a child watching Scooby-Doo, so I’m bound to have picked up a few zombie tips from that source. Shaggy, Daphne and the Mystery Machine were on hand to solve any other-worldly mysteries.

Shaggy (Justin Webb) and Daphne with the Mystery Machine, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Shaggy (Justin Webb) and Daphne with the Mystery Machine, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Some of the zombies stay strictly in character – including some of the scary children – while others laugh and ham it up for the camera. Once the zombie walk is on, it’s all serious with hardly a grin to be found for the camera. It’s an interesting little glimpse into another world, one that probably has a good bit of overlap with Comicon and Steam Punk events.

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Today I have far more photographs than words, so I’ll shut up and let you enjoy (?) the sights for another year. Be sure to catch the zombies back in action this coming Saturday as “Thrill the World” rocks Market Square with a zombie-filled rendition of the video from the song.

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Even Zombies Need to Shop, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Even Zombies Need to Shop, Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

Zombie Walk, Knoxville, October 2014

What Does It Take to Get Knoxville Riled? Metro Pulse?

Protest on Market Square Last Spring, Knoxville, 2014

This weekend marked the rally to support Metro Pulse and/or protest the actions of Scripps to cease its publication and layoff all its employees. Since the announcement last Wednesday passions have run high across the city and on Thursday Chris Irwin … [Continue reading]

The Downtown Knoxville Week Ahead (10/19 – 10/25/2014

Church Street at Sunset, Knoxville, 2014

If you see an event I've missed and you'd like to plug, please comment below or e-mail me (knoxvilleurbanguy@gmail.com) and I'll try to add it. The list may, accordingly, be expanded through the week. Staying true to the scope of the blog, I'll only … [Continue reading]

Complete Streets

Caroline Cooley Addresses the Knoxville City Council to Advocate for a Complete Street Policy

I've heard the term "complete streets" thrown about, including recently by the Urban Land Institute panel. Shortly after their visit city council scheduled a vote about "complete streets." I found a couple of links that helped, like this one from … [Continue reading]