By Gerri Miller
Vicki Stroup never dreamed that what started two years ago as a 10 x14 booth at Prattville Pickers would turn into a thriving Millbrook business selling high-quality Amish furniture and gifts.
Stroup moved to Deatsville from Indiana in January of 2016. While living in Indiana, she worked in a store that was located in Amish country. “My knowledge of furniture was very limited other than a lot of what we had over the years fell apart quickly and had to be replaced, she said.
“It did not take very long for me to realize that the furniture I was selling was quite different than any I had seen before and the quality was amazing,” she said. “It was beautiful and because it was handcrafted by local Amish, each piece was customizable in different wood choices, stain colors, hardware, you name it…the list was endless. This was heirloom quality, the kind you pass down to your children and grandchildren.”
“In the Summer of 2018, I was helping in the store for the summer,” she said. “Two people came in from Alabama who were on vacation. They wanted to know what shipping would cost to get products to Alabama.”
“I went back to my friend’s house and realized there was a market to sell Amish furniture in Alabama,” she said. “I felt like the Lord opened up an opportunity for me.”
Stroup started with about five pieces of outdoor furniture made of recycled milk jugs and some solid wood pieces meant for indoor use. “The recycled milk jug furniture is warranted for life,” she said.
It wasn’t long before her 10 x 14 booth turned into 1,500-square-feet of floor space at Prattville Pickers. “I just kept expanding,” Stroup said. She said she soon realized it was time to get a store of her own which she named Vicki’s Amish Traditions.
“Prattville Pickers was a great place to start and get my name out there,” Stroup said. Stroup has expanded her product line to sell a wide variety such as furniture, mattresses, Amish-made cutting boards, toys, signs, honey, candles, jewelry, custom-made cards, goat milk soaps, bath bombs, Amish-made wind chimes, CBD products and much more.
Stroup is offering 15 percent off on all outdoor furniture through November 28th. “Because of current events, prices are expected to rise on the outdoor poly furniture, so it would be good to plan ahead for spring as long waits are also expected,” she said.
Customers can choose from 29 outdoor furniture colors. Stroup said everything is customizable for indoor furniture from different sizes, builds and stain colors. “We can contact the builder and he can completely customize a piece and make it unique,” she said.
Stroup said she is definitely a supporter of U.S.-made products and tries to buy regional products as much as possible. “Our honey is from Alabama and we have three candlemakers, a jewelry maker and a custom card maker from the state,” she said. “We try to provide unique, quality products for our area. We want people to have a unique shopping experience.”
Vicki’s Amish Traditions is located in a tranquil setting, in a house built on stilts with a big wrap-around porch. The business is located at 146 Alabama River Parkway in Millbrook where a golf driving range used to be located.
“You can come here and have a cup of coffee or cocoa and relax on a porch swing or at one of our Amish-built tables,” Stroup said.
Stroup said she had been looking for a property when she got an e-mail that a farm down the road from that property had honey available. She saw a sign for the property on her way to buy honey and gave the number a call. The rest is history.
A friend helped Stroup put in new flooring and by July 1st, 2020, she had signed a contract on the property and had a truck deliver her first shipment of furniture.
Stroup said she’s gotten lots of business from Facebook, Instagram and Prattville Pickers. She still maintains a booth at Pickers. “We’ve had four good months so far,” she said.
She said she has spent countless hours standing at her booth at Pickers handing out cards and telling people about her new store. “I am very passionate about what I sell,” she said.
For the holidays, Stroup can put together a basket of gifts or customers can pick out basket items and she will create their custom baskets.
Vicki’s Amish Traditions is open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. or by appointment. To make an appointment, call (334) 399-5563. The store can be found at https://vickisamishtraditions.com