Mother-daughter duo takes over Westhaven space at Sanctuary South

Mother and daughter Melanie Johnson and Nikki Reeves took over ownership of the space in December from the previous owners, another mother-daughter team who had run the shop since its opening in 2016. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)
Mother and daughter Melanie Johnson and Nikki Reeves took over ownership of the space in December from the previous owners, another mother-daughter team who had run the shop since its opening in 2016. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

Mother and daughter Melanie Johnson and Nikki Reeves took over ownership of the space in December from the previous owners, another mother-daughter team who had run the shop since its opening in 2016. (Photos by Wendy Sturges/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Located in the heart of Front Street, Sanctuary South has become a mainstay of the Westhaven community—it is within walking distance of the neighborhood’s residential streets. Now, as new owners take control, the shop is undergoing some changes while staying true to its roots.

Mother and daughter Melanie Johnson and Nikki Reeves took over ownership of the space in December from the previous owners, another mother-daughter team who had run the shop since its opening in 2016.

“Over the years, we had maintained contact with them, and they approached us about wanting to take over the store and [they] said they didn’t want to sell it to just anybody. They wanted it to be somebody they trusted and knew would care for it and continue what they started,” Reeves said. “We thought it was a neat story—going from a mother-daughter business to a mother-daughter business.”

Reeves said existing staffers, including longtime manager Chloe Lochner, have stayed in place.

“It’s been helpful to ease the transition,” she said.


Reeves and Johnson said Sanctuary South has evolved over time from an interior design-focused shop to the gift shop and boutique it is today.

The business carries a variety of apparel for women and children as well as home decor and gifts. While Sanctuary South does carry more well-known brands, such as Barefoot Dreams, Corkcicle and Bottega Del Vino wine glasses, a number of the items in the store are made by local brands from the Williamson County and Nashville areas.

Shoppers can find Nashville brands, such as Clark and June candles and The Nash Collection, as well as Franklin-area goods, such as Franklin Toffee.

Reeves said carrying local brands is important because it helps support local artisans and provides more variety for customers.

“We are going to work to add in a few more,” Reeves said. “[We’re] still starting off and getting to know the local vendors.”

In the future, the duo said, they would like to incorporate some furniture and larger pieces into the store’s inventory. Reeves said the shop also hopes to give throughout the year to various charities and community partners, such as Room at the Inn and the Franklin-based Bridges Domestic Violence Center.

Johnson said the shop will soon begin hosting Wine Down Wednesdays with complimentary wine for customers while they shop as well as classes and workshops with crafting activities. She said she hopes the events will be a way for members of the community to connect with their neighbors.

“I just feel like we need to have something, no matter what time of the year it is, [so that] people can say, ‘Oh, they have that every Wednesday. We can go there,’” Johnson said.

Reeves said she encourages customers who have not visited since the shop changed owners to stop by to see some of the recent changes made and new items.

“We just want people to know: We’re here, we’re from here, and we want to welcome you,” she said.

158 Front St., Ste. 104, Franklin

615-435-3779

www.sanctuarysouthtn.com

Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., closed Sun.
By Wendy Sturges
A Houston native and graduate of St. Edward's University in Austin, Wendy Sturges has worked as a community journalist covering local government, health care, business and development since 2011. She has worked with Community Impact since 2015 as a reporter and editor and moved to Tennessee in 2019.


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