Helen Riley is just about ready to start a new chapter in her life with the opening of the Rockin Rooster and Happy Hen Antiques, Collectibles and more in Rockmart in the coming weeks.
The store — featuring new items up front and several booths of space to rent for local people who want to sell antiques and more — will also come with opportunities for people wanting a different option for parties to take part as well.
Riley is offering up one of the front booth spaces she’s running herself to act as a setting for tea time parties available for booking at her new store, with catering provided by Soli’s Soup and Sandwiches and Chick ‘N Scratch Bakery in Rockmart.
She said the inspiration for the store — along with the name — came through a series of happy coincidences that have come together to form her new store.
“We moved out this way to Taylorsville, two years in November,” she said. In recent times, she’s added chickens to her property to make it closer to a proper farm, and now has up to 19 running around her yard.
When thinking of names and seeking help from friends in November, she went through several name ideas for a company and her husband as a joke came up with “Rockin Rooster and Happy Hen.” The name stuck, and now it’ll be one of the latest additions to the Rockmart business community in coming weeks.
The store is set to open on August 1. She plans to host a couple of special invite-only days ahead of the grand opening for Rockmart City Employees to come and check out the merchandise and make an early purchase, along with additional opportunities that will be announced through the store’s facebook page at www.facebook.com/rockinroosterhappyhen.
Rockin Rooster and Happy Hen will be at Homespun with a vendor booth as well with limited stock available, and much more to come. They’ll hold an August 2 ribbon cutting to continue the opening celebrations into the end of the upcoming week.
Riley — formerly of Chick-fil-A of Rockmart and corporate offices as well — was already operating her business on the side at Treasured Thriftique until the opportunity came for her to jump fully into the concept of the storefront.
“It kept coming back to me that this is really what I want to do,” she said.
Help from her husband Bill has allowed her to transform the storefront on North Piedmont Avenue into several booths for people to rent out of various sizes — though they have been going fast — and offers not just the tea room corner and antiques for sale. She also has partnered with vendors and taken it upon herself to offer everything from t-shirts and hats to candles and soaps.
Only a single 10-by-10 unit is left, with a few smaller spaces for rent for those interested. Prices start at $75 and go up to $120, and don’t include any hidden fees for credit cards, bags, and more.
“You’re not going to get hit with all of that (as a vendor),” Riley said.
She has space for 16 vendors, and is working to ensure that when someone rents one of her spaces there isn’t overlap on what each person is selling and create competition on pricing within the store.
“I want everyone to have the chance to succeed,” she said.
Additionally, donations have helped fill the store with items that aren’t for sale but add to the atmosphere of a fun and different shopping experience in Rockmart. Even a deer head on the wall and a large rooster that isn’t leaving at any price are part of the decorations provided by friends, Riley said.
She even set up a corner at the front of the store as a “man cave” and a church pew at the front of the store to allow people to sit and talk as well.
“People can just come in and sit down when they’re hot, because there’s so much traffic here,” Riley said.
After the grand opening in August, Rockin Rooster and Happy Hen will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays.
Riley said that the first Thursday of every month will be a community giveback day, where 10 percent of all sales will be donated back to volunteer groups and organizations in need.
“We’re also going to up early for senior centers around the area one day to allow for them to come in and shop,” Riley said.