New Clay Spot owner, Stacie Porter Brown, hopes to continue the store’s long tradition of being a family-friendly shopping and entertainment alternative. (Staff photo: Brad McEwen)
ALBANY — For the past 15 years, Albany business The Clay Spot, has offered alternative entertainment and gift ideas to patrons of all ages, and if new owner Stacie Porter Brown has anything to do with it, that tradition will continue well into the foreseeable future.
Last spring, Albany native Brown noticed a Facebook posting saying that The Clay Spot was looking for new ownership, and shortly after Father’s Day, she was that new owner.
Despite having a Fine Arts degree from Georgia Southwestern State University, Brown found herself working in marketing for a local bank. Although she enjoyed that job, the art lover felt that something was missing from her professional life.
“I enjoyed working [at the bank],” Brown said. “It was a great company with great people. But I still felt like something was missing.”
That’s when the Facebook post suddenly appeared and Brown began considering the possibility.
“I thought, God how awesome would that be? I’ve always enjoyed that place,” said Brown. “I almost thought the posting was specifically for me, like I was supposed to see it.”
After discussing the proposition with her husband, local contractor Brandon Brown, she decided to make an offer and was elated to learn previous owner Anita Riggle, who was relocating to Colorado with her family, accepted.
Once the sale was completed, Brown became the fifth owner of the business since it was started by Albany resident Jennifer Keel in 1998. Brown said each subsequent owner worked to build an identity for the store, something she takes seriously.
“I feel like all those ladies before me put their sweat into this place,” They put their stamp on it. I feel like I owe it to their legacy to take care of this place.”
In addition to maintaining the store’s legacy, Brown hopes to add her own touches. She recently repainted the interior of the location and enlisted her husband to add a children’s playroom in one corner, giving kids a place to play while their parents or siblings work on crafts.
Brown also hopes to utilize an adjacent space inside the store as a room for hosting different kind of events, including birthdays, after hours events and bridal and baby showers.
“If people need a space for an event, we can accommodate that,” said Brown. “It’s not just about painting, it’s an experience. I want people to have a fun and memorable experience.”
It’s providing that positive experience that Brown hopes will help the store continue its reputation as a customer-friendly establishment, that patrons frequent.
“The customers are great,” added Brown. “There’s a lot of regulars. I want everyone to have a great time and I want them to feel welcome. I really want them to feel like they’re coming into my home.”
In celebration of the 15 year milestone, Brown will be hosting a grand re-opening on Oct. 19.