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Why I Launched My Business in Maury County (and You Can, Too!)

Learn from a local entrepreneur what it's like to do business in Maury County, Tennessee.

By Lindsey Hyde on May 19, 2023

Smith & York Co. in Columbia, TN
Maiden and Moon Photo Co. Place

Nestled in Middle Tennessee is Maury County, a community that offers unique local retail, excellent restaurants, affordable housing and a vibrant art scene. But there is something else that makes this region irresistible – it’s home to a strong entrepreneurial scene, and more and more people are choosing to do business in Maury County.

One of them is Kathryn York, who started Smith & York Co., a modern home boutique, with her husband, Adam, here in 2019. While they lived in nearby Franklin, they eventually relocated to Maury County that same year. A few months later, they partnered with another couple to open a kitchen essentials pop-up inside Smith & York called Lime & Loaf. Today, they are the sole owners of Lime & Loaf, and it has been moved to its own building on North Garden Street in Columbia. 

Kathryn York

Kathryn York
Business Owner

What made you want to launch your businesses in Maury County?
We just kind of wanted a fresh start, and we started looking at different commercial places that were for lease in Maury County … We started looking at a couple other things and then came down to a First Friday, and we quickly were like, “OK, this definitely feels like home.” It’s been by far the best decision we’ve ever made in our lives.

What kind of success have you seen since you launched your businesses?
The businesses have just completely taken off. We have grown, mostly, because the town itself has grown. We are just one part of the bigger whole of what’s happening.

How would you describe the local business scene?
It’s growing – we get so many people coming into the store asking us questions because they’re wanting to relocate, they’re wanting to open something. It’s not just a destination for shoppers, but it’s almost like a destination for entrepreneurs, as well.

How supportive was the community when you opened?
Very much so. So we opened in 2019, and then 2020 hit. We didn’t know any different. We took our business pretty much mobile and started doing home deliveries. At that point, the first part of 2020, we survived strictly because of locals – people cared.

Why should other entrepreneurs launch their businesses here?
It’s just a very vibrant, lively, spirited community where people support each other.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give entrepreneurs opening a business?
You have to find at least one person that’s an advocate for you. Not just a mentor, but an advocate – I do believe they are different. You don’t know what you don’t know, and you have to have someone that you know who is older and wiser who is challenging you.

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