River Rose RC

Carmen Rodgers/ The Herald

A ribbon cutting was held at River Rose in downtown Wetumpka on Thursday, Oct. 7, with a ribbon cutting at 120 Company Street.

Before making the move to Wetumpka, Sharon Wilson owned Rose of Sharon in Montgomery. Now she is the owner of River Rose after she and her husband Richard decided to swap the big city life for a more peaceful small-town setting.

"We moved here to retire," Wilson said.

With help from friends, the business name also changed.

"We decided to change the name since we are now by the river," Wilson said.

Wilson said she is happy to open this new business in Wetumpka

"I feel like this is small-town USA, and I feel like I have moved back to America," Wilson said. "The small-town values and morals. You don't have the crime and the big city noises."

The Wilson's moved to the Santuck area about 4 years ago and were driving 45 minutes twice a day to commute to Montgomery and back.

"My husband and I said, 'let's get closer,'" she said. "This is 6 minutes from our house."

When Wilson first laid eyes on the building that now houses River Rose, she knew it was where she wanted to be.

"The HGTV momentum, and the hometown flavor," Wilson said. "I had a vision of what it could be. A mercantile store and an old-fashioned Wetumpka hometown."

River Rose carries a variety of custom-made specialty items.

"We are a quilt store. We carry home goods. We also make custom drapes and bedding," Wilson said. "That's pillows, table skirts. I do some light upholstery and slipcovers."

Wilson has worked in her craft for 30 years. She makes custom quilts, and each year creates around 70 t-shirt quilts.

"I do have some antique quilts in the front of the store for sale that I have picked up over the years," she said.

Wilson and her husband live next door to their two daughters who both have a son. When she isn't busy sewing at work, Wilson spends much of her leisure time also with a needle in hand.

"I knit, I crochet, I needlepoint, I piece quilts. I have a workroom in my home, so I put on my pajamas and I sew," Wilson said.

According to Wilson, having a business on Company Street in downtown Wetumpka is much like being in the national spotlight.

"That's how I feel here because the visitors are coming, I feel like I am on a world tour every day, with people coming from all around the United States. They are coming to discover. They are coming for an adventure. They are coming for the hometown flavor and they are coming to visit."

According to Wilson, people are coming to get a look at what life is like in a small town, and that is a great thing for the community.

"They are coming to visit and to find out about us. What a great thing that is, for the city to show the world this great cozy hometown feel," Wilson said.

The River Rose has lots in store moving forward.

Wilson said a variety of classes would be offered at River Rose such as wreath making, crockpot soup, hand quilting, needlework, and much more.

Currently, the River Rose is gearing up for the Christmas Open House, which will be Nov. 4-7.