MOORESVILLE – Sept. 24 is a big day in Bethany Hanby’s life.
This year, Sept. 24 marked the day she opened her home decor store, The Faded Farmhouse, on North Broad Street.
But Sept. 24, 2015, marked a very different occasion – the day she wed her late husband, Caleb Hanby.
“We got married on the 24th, and he passed on the first,” Bethany said. “So this week in general is a very, very, very special week in my world.”
Bethany met Caleb when she worked at a gym in Nashville, Tenn., in her mid-20s. Within months of their relationship beginning, Caleb was diagnosed with cancer.
“And we decided to battle (it) together and that we were meant to be together,” Bethany said. “So there was never any thought other than that.”
To give her enough time to take care of Caleb, Bethany quit her gym job and started nannying for a Nashville family.
“The people that I started nannying for actually introduced me to The Faded Farmhouse,” Bethany said. “They are some of the greatest people I know. I am forever thankful for them. One, because they gave me the time to spend pretty much all of my time with my husband – which now is a gift every single day, because he’s not here anymore. But they also kind of set me up with this idea for, hopefully, the rest of my life.”
Bethany said she wanted to open her Faded Farmhouse location – the first franchise for the business, which has two locations in Tennessee – on Sept. 24 because of its association with Caleb.
“So (it’s) basically turning one of the hardest weeks of my life into one of the most special weeks of my life, as far as opening up my own business and seeing just the growth in the first week of people coming in,” Bethany said. “It’s kind of like turning sorrow into happiness, I guess. But (it’s) also a way to honor him. Because if you don’t know Caleb, you don’t truly know me. So I hope people get to know him through me with this being me now, this building and this store being me.”
Bethany worked in the fitness industry from age 15 1/2 until she met Caleb.
“But I’ve always had a really strong drive for creativity,” Bethany said. “And from the creativity, I’ve always had a really strong decorating sense. ... I feel like if you’re going to live in your home, you might as well enjoy what you’re seeing.”
Because of that creative drive, and with inspiration from Caleb guiding her, Bethany took the plunge and approached The Faded Farmhouse company about opening a North Carolina location in the last year.
“And it was like a snowball effect from there on,” Bethany said.
Once she worked out a licensing agreement with The Faded Farmhouse, Bethany and her dad looked all over the north Charlotte area for a location.
“We went to Concord. We went to Salisbury. We went to Kannapolis,” Bethany said. “We went to Huntersville. Cornelius. I mean, everywhere. And really, Mooresville just pulled at my heartstrings.”
Bethany said she was drawn by both the close-knit feel of downtown and the steady growth Mooresville has seen over the years.
“I lived in Salisbury, grew up in Salisbury,” Bethany said. “So I got to see the growth period of it and just understand that it’s going to keep growing.”
She hopes North Broad Street, where she and several other home decor and vintage shops are located, becomes a destination for residents who are looking for unique home items.
“If you’re looking for home decor – kind of more of a vintage-y feel or one-of-a-kind feel or just a local feel – Broad Street is the street to come to,” Bethany said.
The Faded Farmhouse features a variety of items, including candles, clothes, home and kitchen accessories and gifts.
“My stuff is new, but it’s vintage, and it’s made to look like an antique,” Bethany said. “Because a lot of people want new things that work, especially when it comes to kitchen products. But they’re made to look like they’d be in somebody’s farmhouse a long time ago.”
Bethany also hopes to one day offer decorating expertise.
“You can maybe show us a picture of a space in your home that you need an idea for, or you (might) want us to put together a tablescape for you,” Bethany said.
With just under two weeks in business, Bethany is most excited about sharing her passion with the community.
“Overall, I’m thankful to (The Faded Farmhouse) for the opportunity … and then I’m thankful to Caleb for just living that last year of his life with full strength, bravery, the will to live,” Bethany said. “It kind of helped me decide to stop doing other jobs that I was good at, but I wasn’t necessarily going to be fulfilled (by) for the rest of my life and finally do something that’s going to fulfill that desire in my heart to just put it out there for people and have something that I’m proud of.”