Building a house is an act of patience and precision. Making a home is an act of finding what makes a place familiar, warm, and joyful. Spreading that house-warming joy to all of her customers is Alana Greene’s goal for her shop, The Mantel Mercantile. Everyone who steps foot in her shop is invited to cultivate their own place of welcome and relaxation through the art of shopping.
When you walk into The Mantel Mercantile, you might be transported to your dream home. Its cozy, inviting atmosphere consists of warm, fresh scents and beautiful decor displayed on each shelf. You’ll want to take it all home with you–and you can! The front room has everything from puzzles to notecards to loungewear, but the front room is just the beginning. The mock-bathroom, complete with a bathtub, is the clean, organized bathroom of every homeowner’s dream. Soaps, lotions, and soft bathrobes adorn the room. The final room holds even more: living room accessories, like decanters and charcuterie boards, wait to be discovered. In every room, the products have been carefully selected and curated by Alana, each chosen with attention to detail.
But like any well-loved home, what makes The Mantel Mercantile special is the people inside. Don’t be surprised if you strike up a conversation with Alana and find that she truly greets every single customer with kindness and care. To Alana, every customer matters and it shows in the way her business caters to helping her shoppers find the perfect gift for their loved ones or build comforting spaces of their own.
In the Millis Square “pink house,” Alana is fostering her goal to share local artists’ crafts – art, stationery, gifts, and home goods. In her preparation for the store’s recent opening this past August, Alana found she had much to do in order to actualize such a big project. With a background in nonprofit organization, the entrepreneurial foray was new territory for Alana, but she knew she had made the right decision when she set out to source products and got to experience the excitement of finding the perfect item over and over again.
Originally from Durham, NC, Alana moved in middle school to Dobson, NC, and from there came to High Point for college at HPU. After graduating, meeting her husband in a bible study group, and settling down, she has spent a couple of decades in High Point.
“In the last 22 years, the change, and the shift in High Point has been incredible,” said Alana. Alana loves watching High Point change and grow around her and discovering how to fit herself into that spirit of growth. Having lived in High Point since 2000, Alana has seen many changes in the community.
“I have been so blown away with how High Point has changed over the last few years.” Alana says.
As the city changed around her, Alana found herself changing too.
“There have been times, if I'm being completely honest, where I considered I might leave High Point to try something else, and do something else,” Alana reflects, “but I don’t feel that way anymore. It is growing. I love what is happening.”
Instead, she has found that as High Point has grown, it has become a place ready to foster community. During the pandemic, she turned her focus locally, as many shoppers across the country had to. However, instead of feeling limited, she experienced HP shopping in a new light.
While shopping, she found herself wondering “Where are some other places I’ve never visited before and can learn about?”
The slowed-down pace of pandemic life also showed her how to take time to recognize what she finds comfort in, what she actually cares about, and what feels like home.
Despite being more engaged in the businesses around her than before, the entrepreneurial lifestyle came as a bit of a surprise to Alana. Entrepreneurship has sparked through her family. Her parents own a bed and breakfast, along with a blueberry farm. Her husband made the shift to his own remodeling business. But Alana is newer on the scene, full of vision and ready to embrace each opportunity as it comes.
“The fun part is picking things that hopefully other people like and make their home with,” she says. In looking to meet a niche need in High Point’s shopping scene, Alana sought locally sourced goods by artists and creators who needed the outlet of promotion that a storefront grants. She found that there was incredible local art that she could promote by giving creators that space in her store. And in a community like High Point’s that really does want to connect to its own community, these crafted items really shine.
The not-so-fun part of creating a business is that it isn’t just shopping for gorgeous home goods. That’s where community and faith come in. Part of Alana’s strength has been seeing where her weaknesses lie, and where she has felt supported in calling upon her friends who have strengths in other areas. It takes a different kind of strength to know when to step back and reach out for help.
“I have certainly through this process seen my weaknesses and have been able to call some of my friends who have strengths in other areas,” she says.
Aside from the help of her friends, she is grounded and motivated by her belief in God.
“God created us so uniquely, creatively, everyone has different gifts,” she says, “so being able to support an artist who has a different talent or gift than someone else;” that’s her mission come to life.
Alana describes The Mantel Mercantile as a Christ-centered business that is seeking to encourage shoppers to engage in the creation of home. For Alana, home is more than candles with nostalgic, warming scents (although those are a good start!).
Home is created when people meet through social acts like shopping. “There are no coincidences,” she notes. Alana hopes that her shop is a place where home can be created. A place where shopping can lead to new relationships and your favorite new candle.
“You never know how new friendships are going to be built.”
As a new business owner, Alana had been praying for her dream to develop as she greeted the first hurdle of creating a business and crossed the hurdle of the brick-and-mortar storefront. Her long term goal for The Mantel Mercantile is to continue sharing her vision of home through the community by returning to her roots of non-profit and giving back to the community that supported her dream.
And while Alana lives out her dream, step into The Mantel Mercantile to find a piece of home.
"I want them to come in and say: this feels cozy, this feels like home, I see this in my home, I can leave joyfully."
"I want them to come in and say: 'This feels cozy, this feels like home, I see this in my home, I can leave joyfully.'"
Alana Greene, Owner of The Mantel Mercantile
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team