Kevin King, a Franklin native, opened The Barn Door on S. Margin St.
Indicative of its name, The Barn Door was inspired by an old, abandoned structure left to rot in the middle of a Tennessee field.
One day several years ago, Kevin King was tearing down a dilapidated barn when he realized the sentimental value attached to the weathered wood he was ripping apart.
He began rifling through the endless opportunities to transform and repurpose the material into a unique piece of artwork, and was inspired to launch of new kind of business.
In 2010, The Barn Door opened its doors in downtown Franklin in a space just over the railroad tracks on the edge of South Margin Street and First Avenue.
The shop houses a wide variety of antiques, vintage furniture and artwork. But what makes it truly unique are the one-of-a-kind pieces it carries, created by King and his father, Wayne King, a mentor throughout his life.
“I learned how to work with wood from my dad,” King said. “He has always had a woodshop in the back of our family home. I have fond memories of going to job sites with him and finding scrap wood, bringing it home and together we would try to make it into something useful.”
King also grew up working in a family retail business that specialized in custom frames and art. Because his father spent a career in the construction business, the small business owner says it seemed natural to incorporate labor-intensive work with retail—and form a business dedicated to curating unique products with those built from recycled materials.
Nearly three years since its opening, the shop contains a wealth of treasures and unusual finds that King himself picks from local flea markets and abandoned construction sites. The items are sweeping in variety, from an old barber’s chair selected from Jake’s Barber Shop—located on Main Street in the ‘40s—to stools made from recycled old whiskey barrels.
“I used to get my hair cut at Jake’s,” he said. “It’s going to be very hard for me to part with that chair. It is a nostalgic piece for me and one of my favorites that we have at the store right now.”
Besides being a premier destination for treasures and antiques, The Barn Door also carries vintage posters and other original art. As a service to its customers, the store offers a custom framing service, which is an ode to King’s family’s legacy.
“I decided to incorporate the framing aspect into my business since it is a huge part of my story and my past, “ King said. “We’ve really gotten into the art component here. We’re now on the monthly Franklin Art Scene.”
As to his love of all things old, the Franklin native attributes it to growing up in Williamson County and being surrounded by the town’s legacy.
“I love old buildings,” he said. “I can remember riding my bike to Main Street and looking up at the old architecture, and being so fascinated. Those types of buildings don’t exist just everywhere, and I knew it.”
The store acquires new products weekly. The Barn Door is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information visit their Facebook page.
“Faces of Franklin” is part of a series on merchants and small business owners in downtown Franklin, Tenn. To read more, go to www.downtownfranklintn.com.
Posted on: 10/24/2013