Emily Blevins, News Editor

The downtown Ringgold, Georgia, area has welcomed in a few new small businesses within the past year or so, and although many locals in that specific area know about these hole-in-the-wall-esque locations, I feel that they should be recognized and that even more people should become aware of them. One of these very special businesses goes by the simple, yet clever name Alydots.

Owned by Alyson Tunnell, the Alydots’ store front officially opened in June of this past year. And although the actual store has only been opened for around seven months, the business itself was actually started about five years ago. Rather than having a specific location designated just for the business, everything was done right out of Alyson’s house. She explained to me how at first she was simply making gifts for friends, which turned into taking and placing orders, which eventually turned into doing painting parties for other people. Essentially, her small at-home hobby quickly turned into something wonderful that she can now share with any and everyone who wants to be a part of it.

Reflecting on how far Alyson has come with the hobby, it is clear to see that it has taken off considering she now, in fact, has her very own store. This wasn’t always the ideal path that her business would take though; the thought of having her own store was nice but wasn’t necessarily very realistic. “In the back of my mind I always knew I would love a storefront. However, I was working full time so I was just taking orders and doing parties at night in my spare time.” Eventually a building opened up for availability, and really got her thinking. She and her husband joked about what a perfect location it would be. After a few weeks went by, they decided to make time to go look at the building and the next thing she knew, she was signing the lease.

I personally have not made it over to the Alydots store quite yet, but I definitely plan on going soon as I have friends and family who have been, and I have heard nothing but good things. Alyson offers painting parties where you can essentially come in with a group and choose from a variety of wooden door hangers, then paint them as you like. She offers private parties, open nights, and even children’s birthday parties. What the store offers does not end there, however. In the front end of her store is a little boutique with various gifts, accessories, home decor, and more, and after browsing through the pictures that her Facebook page features, I am anxious to make my way over.

Overall, this store has such an awesome little background to it and is obviously reaping the benefits of success that is so highly deserves. The atmosphere within the store is very upbeat and fun, and the available parties allow any and everyone, of all ages, to have a blast during their time spent there. If you are interested, you can find the store at 7767 Nashville Street, Ringgold, Georgia.  Alydots is open Tuesdays-Saturdays, and the hours are 3:00-5:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. on the other days.  I would recommend stopping by her social media pages if you get a chance, and I would definitely give the Alydots store and Alyson’s sweet spirit a visit sometime soon as well.