Highway 8 Furniture and Treasures
By Kim Swindell Wood | September 15, 2018 3:12 pm
Last Updated: September 17, 2018 at 7:25 am
By Hansel Moore
Route 8 is a scenic path that cuts through Van Buren, Sequatchie, and Warren counties. Cattle, wildlife, and pines line the roadway that leads off the mountain into McMinnville. Toward the east end of the highway, where it intersects with Route 111, is a large metal building with a welcoming sign for those in search of the unique. The Highway 8 Furniture and Treasures sign is flanked by the American flag, which is proudly flown by the owners, Steve and Patti Ray.
For the past three years this treasure chest of a shopping experience has been the staging area for a collection with personality. Artifacts from all categories, genres, topics, and style fill this 10,000 square feet of ultimate recycling. The items have been hand picked over the past 30 years.
“We just want to have quality items for sale,” explained Steve Ray, as he shared the story of how the store evolved.
He and his wife once owned a furniture store located in McMinnville. When the time came to make a decision about a financial “fork in the road,” the couple embarked on constructing their own building to share items collected over the years.
It is nearly impossible to find a glimpse of the actual walls of the building as you enter. Photos, paintings, and decor items are systematically arranged for the keen eye to view and discern. Images of John Wayne and Lucy are just a few of the faces that are framed and ready for the right collector. Simple life and farm items are available to spruce up the country style lover. Rows and sections are purposely created by the strategic design of Patti Ray. Her expertise is the ability to maximize the displays by intertwining re-born furniture with items from generations gone by.
Steve Page’s house of creativity is the “workshop” located at the store, which is where he refurbishes the unwanted into works of art.
“I love building things with wood,” he said, with passion. “I can build just about anything out of wood. People bring me a picture, and I build it for them.”
Open seven days a weeks, Steve and Patti Ray obviously love what they do. They spend many of their waking hours making new friends, as they interact with shoppers who enter the store. The experience here is more than just the multiple items on display; it also includes the passion and personality of the owners.
“We get a lot of local repeat customers that come from all over the area, because we always have something new and different,” said Steve Ray. “The inventory is perpetually refreshed by the items collected through of decades of picking and the purchase of estates. Some people don’t want to have yard sales, so they call us. If they have stuff that we like and the price is right, then we bring it to the store.”
This discerning duo doesn’t buy just anything and is adamant about the inventory.
“We want to offer quality merchandise but without the high prices that are asked at the antique dealers,” said Steve Ray. “We get people from all over the country. They come to the area for vacation and make us a destination while they are visiting.”
The store has thrived and blossomed with the help of word-of-mouth advertising and the use of the internet and social media.
Follow them on Facebook, where there are often contests offered for giveaways, and it is a great way to remain current on the latest of Steve and Patti Ray’s creations.