Terri Ferguson is a décor and crafts artist and owner of Townsend’s Lamps & Gifts Inc. in Talladega, Alabama which services the Southeast United States region and beyond. A focus of her work is in repurposing unique antique, architectural, lighting and structural elements into completely unique, beautiful and useful lamps and other décor items for use in the home.
DS: How did you hear about Dailysingle? What are you expecting from being on the front page?
Terri Ferguson: I have a good friend/customer whose son writes for DS. I frankly do not know what to expect...that is the exciting part of it...the Unknown. I hope to meet people from different parts of the world who like my creations and share some of my same interests. I always enjoy getting other people's "take" on my work.
DS: What are the most memorable years of your life and what happened to make them so memorable?
Terri Ferguson: I love life, and I so appreciate each and every day that it is hard for me to separate a few times that are better than others. I guess my fondest memories are times spent with my parents and siblings at the lake and vacations at the beach and then enjoying going to the same places with my children. Now, I look forward to spending time with my grandson at the lake and the beach, teaching him to swim, boat, fish etc.
I like to read, paint, make jewelry, turn something old into something new.
DS: How would you best describe yourself?
Terri Ferguson: IF I had to describe myself in one word it would be BUSY.I am a control freak and have a hard time turning even the simplest of jobs over to anyone . Having a store means, ordering merchandise and supplies, cleaning, bookwork, merchandising, advertising and of course, trying to find time for CREATING, which is my favorite part. I love the time from when the idea gets finalized in my head until it actually comes into being. I will get up early or go to the store late at night in order to get some uninterrupted "creating" time.
DS: What are the must-haves in your daily wardrobe?
Terri Ferguson: Eyeliner, earrings, wedding rings and a cuff bracelet...I do not walk out of the door without wearing them. If I ever had any type of "enhancement" surgery, it would definitely be permanent eyeliner!
Lighting miscellany: 1930's wall sconces on recycled plantation mantle boards. Skeleton key wire cage chandelier etc.Photo by C.J. Harris Family Photography
DS: Who do people tell you you look like?
Terri Ferguson: My brother calls my sister and me, the Sugarbaker's - my sister being Julia, and myself, Suzzanne, and that does fit to some degree.
DS: How did you end-up being a decor and crafts artist?
Terri Ferguson: Hereditary and environment! My mom started the business in 1953 as a "satellite" store to my dad's electrical contracting business. My husband and I moved a lot during the first 20 years of his career and when we moved back to Talladega in 2000, my mom was ready to retire, so I purchased the store to keep it in the family.
“What do you think we are discarding today that will be the next generation's "hot" collectibles/repurposed items?”
Participate and answer Terri Ferguson's question on The Wall below.
DS: Can you tell us more about your job?
Terri Ferguson: As I mentioned before, I do some of everything that there is to be done...the buying, selling, merchandising, bookkeeping, cleaning, etc. There is always work to be done, and never any down time. I thrive on that type of environment. I love my customers and I am usually there to serve them personally. I do have some magnificient employees,such as Sylvester White, our lamp repairman, who has been at the store for over 26 years, and Pat Townsend, our bookkeeper, who has been with us for over 20 years. We all enjoy the store, the customers and each other.
Shop front. Photo by C.J. Harris Family Photography
DS: Let's talk more about you and your tastes. Any hobbies? What do you like to do in your free time? Any thing you like and recommend?
Terri Ferguson: I like to read, paint, make jewelry, turn something old into something new. I love to go “Junking”...just get in the car and get off the interstate and stop at every flea market, junk and antique shop that I pass. That is my favorite thing to do in my free time. I enjoy surfing the net, perusing through decorator magazines and can do both for hours trying to get inspiration.
DS: What is a typical week for Terri Ferguson?
Terri Ferguson: House cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, dry cleaning, maybe going to Birmingham or Atlanta or elsewhere to pick up supplies or merchandise. (Tue. – Fri.) I am usually gone by 8AM . I stop in and do things early that I do not like to do when the store is open, such as paperwork, orders & cleaning, then I run errands and come back to run the store from 10 to 4. Saturday, I go in a little late and leave by 3. I teach College and Career Sunday school on Sunday mornings.
I also handle Estate sales, and when doing one,I leave around 6 AM to put in extra time before and after store work to get set up. I average one sale a month. I have some wonderful friends and coworkers, Wayne and Lorie Sims, who help me with sales. They are very creative and share many of my same interests.
I usually get my 16 month old grandson a couple of nights a week, and my husband and I take him for a stroll, to the park, or to dinner.
I dine out a couple of nights a week with friends or family, to catch up.
DS: Some quick questions: What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Terri Ferguson: Stumble to the coffee pot and down two cups of CAFFEINATED coffee. I am not worth anything to anybody until that is done.
DS: What is your favorite restaurant in Talladega?
Terri Ferguson: It's actually The Crossroads Grille at Intersection of Hwy 77 and Hwy 78, nearby in Lincoln, Al. Great food, chef/owner from Louisianna....Bar B Q Shrimp from century's old New Orleans recipe...umm umm..cannot beat it anywhere!
DS: What is your favorite song today? Of all time?
Terri Ferguson: I am so out of touch with today’s music. At this point in my life the songs I hear and sing the most are “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, etc. My favorite person to be with is 16 months old!!!! My all time favorite song is “Stars Fell on Alabama,” the Jimmy Buffet version. That is the first song my husband and I danced to, and I fell in love that night under a starlit Alabama sky.
DS: What is your favorite "drug"?
Terri Ferguson: Family, making funky things out of junky things, painting something for the first time, hearing my grandson laugh and squeal...these are a few of my favorite things!
The photo shoot
DS: What is in store for you? Any key projects for the next months? Anything you want to share? Can our readers help you with anything?
Terri Ferguson: I plan to keep on doing the same things the same way as long as it still works. I do like to meet new people, hear new ideas, see other's creations and try the ones that I think will work for me.
DS: Anything you want to add to close this interview?
Terri Ferguson: I hope to do more social networking and to open an online store this year.
I am on Facebook as Townsend's Lamps and Gifts, Inc. and as Terri Ferguson.
DS: Thank you Terri Ferguson
Terri Ferguson: Thank you, DS!