7 Market Square did not go empty long. Tammy Babb, owner of Nature’s Crossing Health and Beauty, currently located at 8901 Oak Ridge Highway, announced she will open a second location of her shop at the Market Square address. Featuring lines of teas, herbs, and tinctures, she offers a range of products not previously available in the downtown market.
Tammy grew up in South Knoxville, graduating from South Doyle. She says her mom still lives there in the home where Tammy grew up. After high school she worked for U.S. Cellular and, later, for Sprint where she wrote computer code. That job led her to Kansas City where she and her then husband started a consulting firm in order for her to be able to stay home with their child.
They later moved to Peru, where they had a large account, and then to Australia, among other places. Throughout those years, Tammy worked at home so she could be with her daughter. In 2002, she returned to Knoxville so her daughter could go to school here and know the place that Tammy considered home. Her daughter is currently poised to graduate from UT with a double major in Spanish and Education.
After she and her first husband split, she began work as a wedding photographer in Gatlinburg. Her father had been an amateur photographer, and she’d learned the art from him. She says she “stopped counting at 10,000 weddings.” She worked long weekends, going from one wedding chapel to another, shooting for 30 minutes and then moving on. She also did larger weddings.
Throughout her life she’d had physical issues and had numerous surgeries in an attempt to have her child. More issues developed from the surgeries. Seven years ago it became so bad she could hardly eat, resulting in a long line of specialists who could find no diagnosis. Tammy says the last one told her, “We really can’t find the problem. You won’t be with us much longer.” She collected her medical records and never went back.
She began taking online courses, became certified in Holistic Healing with Herbs, Nutritional Therapy, Nutritional Therapy Weight Loss Management, Aroma Therapy, and Ayurveda Training. She also discovered she was allergic to a particular hormone found in organic chicken. She became fascinated with and found help in herbal treatments and became a herbologist. Unable to tolerate a range of medications herself, she became invested in natural healing.
As she began helping friends with herbal suggestions, they urged her to open a store, which is what she did on March 1, 2017 at the Oak Ridge Highway location. She laughed and added that her current husband, “wanted the herbs out of the house and called it a ‘labor of love’.” She found a cheap space near her home and began building a clientele. After a year, the store was paying for itself and paying her a salary. The income from the store has essentially doubled each of the subsequent years.
As the three year mark began to approach, she knew she needed more space and began looking, particularly downtown, where she felt there might be more people who are interested in a natural lifestyle. It’s also a center point of sorts for customers who drive to her store from Seymour, and other outlying communities. She feared she couldn’t afford a downtown space, but found 7 Market Square and determined she would dive in.
Once the store is open, you will find a range of natural products, many of which are produced by Tammy. She is a licensed hemp grower and produces her own CBD oil. She makes her own elderberry syrup, a product that took off a couple of years ago when local stores ran short. She also has about 150 dried herbs, 140 tea variations, 30 essential oils (more to be added later), natural bath products, and handmade jewelry by local artists. She plans to have a wall for local art in the new location.
She’s pushing to open by April 1, so she may not have everything ready to go on opening day. Hot tea will be available out-of-the-gate, and she will have a few tables, chairs, and couches if you want to enjoy it in store. She’ll have iced teas later. You’ll also find up to ten herbal infusions each day, herbal tinctures, and custom blend teas.
You’ll also be able to watcher her making essential oils in an in-store still. She plans to expand retail offerings as she grows into the space, which is three times larger than her other shop. She plans to eventually be open seven days a week, but may initially be closed on Mondays to give her a day to make some of the products. She anticipates starting with hours of 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. each day.