Personalized service works for Melisa’s Baskets Galore in Williamson.
Melisa Ferrell has always wanted to be a business owner. Even as a child, she was infatuated with gift shops. She loved the trinkets and goodies that adorned the shelves and, as an adult, she knew she eventually wanted to get into the business herself.
Now, Melisa’s Baskets Galore in Williamson has overtaken Ferrell’s life. She left a 15-year career to run her store full-time and, in its seventh year of operation, it is busier than ever. Two employees work the front of the shop, helping customers pick out Vera Bradley bags, boutique clothing, and other stylish goods. If a shopper finds something they’d like to give as a gift, the shop offers wrapping in-house, so customers can head out the door with ribbons and bows already hugging their finds.
Meanwhile, away from the hustle and bustle of the front of the store, another employee works in the back to deliver beautiful custom embroidery. Customers can bring in their own belongings to be embroidered with personalized lettering, or they can fall in love with a new item in the shop and have their name added to it before they leave. Staff also custom print designs and lettering on T-shirts, making the shop popular among parents of school-aged children, fans of sports teams, and others who want to show their support with a one-of-a-kind product. “We do a little bit of everything,” Ferrell says.
Her clientele is extremely loyal—an active Facebook group of nearly 8,000 members keeps an eye on what Ferrell has in stock and asks questions about what they might be able to snag from her inventory at any given time. “A lot of people support my shop,” she says. “I have regular customers that shop here for Christmas for everything.”
Williamson is off the beaten path, but Ferrell’s commitment to getting people what they’re looking for has attracted customers from far and wide—from the local area, but also from Kentucky and from stretches of West Virginia that are quite a hike away. “They come from every direction,” she says.
These days, Ferrell is about as busy as any business owner could hope to be. “Not only do I work from 11 to 6 at the shop—I’m consistently working at the house,” she says. But even through the long hours and patches of chaos, it’s clear that she loves what she does. “It’s great being able to get people what they want and to be happy at your job,” she says, the hustle and bustle of her shop humming in the background. “I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”