New Moon Rising Gifts and Goods, 206 Randolph Street, Knoxville, June 2022
New Moon Rising Gifts and Goods at 206 Randolph Street (right behind Mark Nelson Denim) is open for business today and celebrating with a wide range of events. Owner Lee Yarnell has long anticipated this dream. I stopped in to learn more about what brought her to this point and what customers might expect at the new shop.
Lee is originally from Cookeville where her father was a carpenter and her mother was a teacher. She attended Tennessee Tech, graduating in 2005 with a degree in Merchandising and Design. After considering L.A., she applied for a job with Americorps to work in Boone, North Carolina, staying with her sister in Knoxville while she waited to hear from them. When she didn’t get the job, her sister suggested she stay in Knoxville. She never left.
While growing up in Cookeville she’d found a small store called New Century Books, owned by Susan White, in the small downtown area. She fell in love with it, staying in the new age store reading books. In high school she began making jewelry and her mother suggested she see if they would let her sell there. She named the jewelry venture Carnival Lights and the store began to carry her creations. She’s never stopped making jewelry and you’ll find her current earrings, all made of natural stones, in the new shop.
She said Susan was “a beautiful woman in my life. She taught me about so many things.” She fell in love with beautiful things and with magic and items that “bring you joy, peace, and happiness. She wants to fill her store with beautiful, handmade things and she wants to give others a chance to do what Susan allowed her to do.
She ran through a gamut of jobs after that first one. She worked as an accounting assistant at UT, a farmhand, Veg-0-Rama, a paint-night instructor, a daycare worker, a Hard Knox Roller Girls, and more. I first met her as the manager of the soon-to-close Aisle Nine. She also worked at Cafe Vicolo and Maple Hall.
Until a couple of weeks ago she worked for Kate Thurman at Smarty Pants Paper Company (you’ll find their products in Lee’s new store.) She said, “It get bored easily and have lots of interests.” Along the way, she also picked up a husband, Rusty Yarnell, who works at Fisher Tire Company, a job he’s held for 31 years, but may be better known to readers as the lead vocalist for Mercy Lights.
She’d almost pulled the trigger on the new business just before the pandemic started and is glad now that didn’t happen. She got a tarot reading early this year by Josh Hinkin and was encouraged that the time might be right. She called her childhood friend Nequita Gribble, who owns two successful businesses in Atlanta, and got encouragement and good advice. Nequita gave her a to-do list and she quickly checked off getting her business license, started her LLC, and got things rolling.
She’d picked the name “New Moon” long before and she took it as a good sign that there was a rare double new moon the month she started business. She did a pop-up in May at Central Filling Station, another at the Center for Peace, and a third at Hummingbird Apothecary. She met a number of like-minded people, some of whom you’ll find at the Grand Opening today.
Among many other things, you’ll find items like locally handmade macramé plant hangers by Black Roses Boutique, hand-painted trays and jars, pottery by Lee’s friend Jordyn, and a wide range of incense and incense-related items handmade in India. She has hand-made organic soy candles and soaps by Cal’s Cosmic Cauldron. She carries a line of journals, as well as a few books.
Of course, you’ll find a range of crystals, a long-term interest for Lee. She worked with the crystals at Green Earth Emporium and carried that love with her over the years. She plans to expand her selection. She has clothing, tapestries (hand loomed or power loomed in India), Tarot cards, Oracle cards, Pendulums.
You’ll also find a few vintage items sprinkled in because she just can’t help herself! I spotted a Strawberry Shortcake lunchbox, for example. Another popular product at her pop-ups have been salt lamps and star lanterns. She said some people want them for their healing or medicinal properties, but others just want them for their home décor properties.
Her grand opening will feel like a small makers’ market and she’s thinking she may do a market in the parking lot each month. The store will open at 11 am today and will extend hours to 9:00 pm for First Friday. That same Tarot reader who read for her will be available from 11:30 to 4:30.
There will be a meditation and sound bath at 1:00. From 4:30 to 9:00 the Tarot reader will be followed by an astrologist doing star charts and astrology readings. Vendors will be in the parking lot from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm and will include local vendors with handmade items and vintage items. Aura photography will be available, as will Gua sha facial massages and reiki. Food will also be available, including tamales, street corn, and tres leches cakes.
The store will be open for regular hours from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Go by and check them out and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.