Marty and Karen Martinez on the porch of their shop
HOLLY POND - We normally think of folks retiring to Florida, but where do folks in Florida retire to? Well, according to former Floridians Marty and Karen Martinez, Holly Pond is a pretty good place.
"How do you get from Florida to Holly Pond?" said Marty Martinez, "Hang a Left at Georgia!"
After retiring, the couple decided to vacate the hectic Orlando/Daytona corridor for something simpler and more laid back. They were familiar with the Holly Pond area because through friends, and decided the town was just what they were looking for.
On Dec. 14, 2016, the Martinezes opened Sawdust and Thread Gifts on their property at 348 County Road 1731 just north of "downtown" Holly Pond. There, the crafty couple sells various items they have made themselves.
Two slogans, one on a sign by the shop door and the other on their ad flier, both seem to apply, in one way or another: "Just what you were looking for, but didn't know it" and "Anytime gifts for the ones you love."
According to Karen Martinez, "We are making handcrafted items for gifts, so people don't have to run into Cullman if they need a quick gift. We feel we have different things that people don't know they're looking for, but they want them. It's just a different variety from what we've seen from other crafters. We make house accents. He does a lot of woodworking, and I do the sewing."
Marty Martinez specified, "I'm sawdust, she's thread!"
A U.S. Army veteran, he is proud to say that his shop's gifts are made in the U.S.A.
As the name implies, there are lots of wooden and cloth items: signs and plaques, frames, furniture, birdhouses, mailboxes, cross stitching, pillows, shadow boxes, wedding decorations, coat and key racks, and many other items. Unfinished cut wood pieces are also available for other crafters who want to finish projects themselves.
And if customers don't see what they're looking for, they can always ask. The couple regularly takes orders for custom jobs. Karen Martinez proudly showed off pictures of a special-ordered pie safe, hutch and mailbox her husband recently completed.
Sawdust and Thread is off the beaten path; you won't happen upon the shop by accident. According to Marty Martinez, GPS directions send customers into a creek along Turkey Hop Road closer to town. To make things easier, they included a map on their website (http://sawdustandthreadgifts.com). Take Brooklyn Road north from the traffic light, DON'T take Turkey Hop Road (!), turn right on County Road 1728, right again on County Road 1731, and look for Bigfoot. Yes, look for Bigfoot, you can’t miss him.
"We're a nice little shop on a back road here in Holly Pond," said Marty Martinez. "If someone needs something in a hurry, or is someone's just thinking about somebody they'd like to deliver a nice message to, this is the place to do it."
Pointing to one of his signs on the wall, he stated, "'May you find laughter, love and peace here.' Can't say much more than that."
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