Hey Y’all, Magnolia & Steel is open! This quaint and cheeky boutique is Perrytown Road’s newest addition, and Seth Graves’ dream turned into reality. You see, he’s always loved a challenge, peppering things until they look just right, and creating just the perfect color story. All those things come together in Magnolia & Steel! And you guessed it, that name is a play on Steel Magnolia. Seth, his mom, and sister have been to every Steel Magnolia play around, and now he’s combined his favorite things into a promising career which allows him to utilize his talents and meet new people every day. Seth is a self professed male version of Dolly Parton- personality and hair too, but because he is a “guy in a flower shop,” he needed some more masculine feels too. So add some “Steel,” metals, and woods, and it’s perfectly Seth – all in a cool, and lively shop filled with more than you can possibly believe.
So come on in, and I’ll tell you the story of Seth, Magnolia & Steel, and the family who helped him create his happy place.
Located at 85 Perrytown Road, Scottsville, Magnolia & Steel began as a dedicated space for Seth to create florals for weddings, gifts, showers, special orders for clients, and funerals. Then when Reubin Glick, a local Mennonite carpenter arrived to help Seth’s dad build it, the dream continued to grow until Jeff said to Seth, “If you’re gonna do it, then DO IT.” And that’s all the nudge Seth needed to chase his dream all the way into Magnolia & Steel, and it’s quickly catching fire.
Take a breath before you open the door, because Seth’s color story details and farmhouse themed merchandise is all so beautifully presented that you’ll find yourself just standing still to take it all in.
Are you surprised to see Dolly? She’s front and center, and Magnolia & Steel merchandise flows from boutique clothing to live florals, jewelry, and Nineveh Land Farm hand poured scents.
So how does a guy who grows up in rural Allen County find a love for all things decorating? Seth’s earliest memories and influences on his personality and his love to “make things beautiful” comes from both his grandmothers who were both amazing, but extremely different. He and his sister stayed with both of them while his parents worked, and while they have both passed, their touch continues in his life every day. From Granny, he learned how to make mouth watering biscuits, smoke rabbit tobacco, and to arrange flowers. They would walk across the road and rummage through discarded flowers from Walker’s Chapel Cemetery, and bring them to Granny’s to rearrange. Seth learned how to tell a color story through those old flowers, and his granny proudly displayed them on her kitchen table. And from MaMaw, his mother’s mom, he learned how to jump a four wheeler over a deep ditch, cuss like nobody’s business, and sing karaoke at some sketchy dives. Seth told me about her quirky and fun personality with a chuckle. His MaMaw paid him to sing at those karaoke digs, and he still uses that voice today, in church every Sunday.
For we who are decoratively challenged, it’s hard to understand how to create aesthetically pleasing scenes.
When Seth creates a scene, he begins on the floor with the main pieces. His theory is that it doesn’t have to match, it just has to work, and tell the story that he sees in his mind’s eye. Then he peppers in all the smaller details that bring cohesion and subtle charm that you can’t exactly name, but you can see. “If it will stand still, you can decorate it,” is one of his “Sethisms,” as his mother says. He also decorates several homes for the Christmas season, and he once put a nine foot Christmas tree on top of a grand piano. It stood still, and he decorated it.
Live florals more your thing? Need a fresh arrangement for any occasion? Seth can bring your vision to life and he will deliver it locally as well.
Thinking about a wedding coordinator, or how to create the feel you want for your wedding or party? Seth loves a challenge, and he will decorate just about anything someone will write him a check for. And it will be worth every penny.
Seth’s first hand at retail came with a job at Old Navy in his teenage years. While there, he found that he had a quick ability to see what didn’t work and figure out how to bring the details to life with a little seasoning here and there. That’s a skill he continues to perfect to this day.
Magnolia & Steel is the perfect combination of beautiful, eye-pleasing arrangements, some steel and wood to bring in the real world, and deep, thoughtful and faith based merchandise. It’s kind of like Seth himself, quite a bit of sass, but a deep and committed faith, and reverence for the family who has supported him from day one.
Check out Seth’s extensive supply of Nineveh Land Farm scents.
Come by just to say hello, sit and talk a minute, or to search for your next find. Magnolia & Steel is open every day except Sunday. If you aren’t in the neighborhood and need Seth’s creativity, call him at (270) 237-0687 or chat on Facebook.
Seth is intensely proud of and thankful for his supportive family. He and his wife Erica have Isaiah and Sybil who are the lights of their life. They have been together 15 years, and married the last nine. She’s behind him 100%. “I had rather mow the yard and shoot a gun, and let him do the decorating,” she told me when she came by after work to pick up their kiddos. “I have no idea how to put this stuff together,” she said, “but I love all the boutique clothes I get all the time.” Erica and Seth are definitely a nontraditional couple, but they adore each other, and it works. They support each other’s dreams, and work together to raise their sweet children. Seth had Erica’s back when she chose to join the army nine years ago, and she has his now that he’s chasing a design dream that just might come true. And it starts right here at Magnolia & Steel.
Seth is quick to say that his mom and dad have played a huge role in helping him open his shop, and in following every dream he’s had. His dad helped build the physical building and does a thousand other things to help all the time. And his mom even ran the shop for him for a week when he took his family to the beach in late July. Seth’s mom, sister Alyssa, and Maisie Ray business partner, Krista, worked tirelessly to bring his vision to life when he coordinated and created the florals and decorations for Casey and Tyler Willoughby’s wedding at Lost River Cave in late June. You can check out Seth’s work in their wedding blog here.
It’s Seth’s dream, but it’s safe to say that his family shares his vision, brings some muscle to help him make it happen, and cheer him on every day.
I have a feeling that Magnolia & Steel is just the beginning for this amazing creative. Seth’s ability to pepper in the perfect detail, his love of making things beautiful, and his knack for figuring out what works makes him an asset to anyone who needs a hand with decorating. He loves a challenge, and if you have one for him, I know you won’t be disappointed.