Small Business on the Rise: Southern Provisions Company

Every day she comes to work at Southern Provisions Company, owner Rebekah Moody said she has to remind herself it’s real. “I pinch myself every day I’m here, because I had no idea I would be here and that there was a need for what I do,” Moody said, adding, “All the time, people say, ‘Is it just your dream come true?’ I never, in a million years, dreamt this.”

Southern Provisions opened in May 2016, an outgrowth of Southern Loom, which Moody operated at Boonsboro Shopping Center for two years. Moody describes Southern Provisions as a “finishing company,” comparing it to retailers like Pottery Barn, but with the added bonus of offering bespoke linens, pillows, window treatments and bedding.

There are three, full-time seamstresses and a marketing director on staff. Chief Operating Officer Michelle Thomas, a former boutique owner herself, handles retail operations.

“Southern Provisions is really a collaboration of Michelle’s style and taste, from her experience owning John Simmons and Urban Merchant,” Moody said. “So, we have expanded our offerings in the storefront, so much more than we [had] at Southern Loom.”

Southern Provisions carries a variety of home decor, accessory and gift items, including Moore & Giles, Meanwhile Back on the Farm and other brands. There’s also an interior design component, which is where Moody most often finds herself.

Sometimes, Moody said, this role feels more like marriage counseling. Instead of quelling arguments about kids or money, however, she finds herself mediating disputes about colors and fabrics.

“I have a degree in psychology, and I feel like I use that more than my background in sewing,” Moody said. “I spend my day in marriage counseling with couples. How do we make everyone happy and feel like they’re winning? That’s my job. I’m saving marriages all across Lynchburg.”

Southern Provisions is located in the old Wiley & Wilson printing factory, a 4,000-square-foot space, which has started moonlighting as an events venue. “We did not see that,” Moody said. “The space is just so open that people walk in and say they love it and ‘Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a party here?’ People started asking and we said, ‘Why not?’”

Soon, Southern Provisions will announce further expansion, although Moody was mum on details.

“We’re continuing to work on provisions, meaning all provisions, anything you would need for your home, for your lifestyle,” she hinted.

“We’re very specific about choosing the name ‘Provisions.’ Again, it’s a small company and I have to take little steps, but there will be more provisions in the future.”

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By Suzanne Ramsey