published Friday, March 11th, 2011

Coasters of local landmarks try to evoke nostalgia

• What: Hand-crafted marble coasters with cork bases

• Company: Around Town Coasters

• Location: East Brainerd

• Telephone: 605-5615

• Owners: Beth Adkins and Lanai Yelverton

• What’s special: The coasters created by Around Town Coasters display images of iconic local attractions and companies, from Rock City barns and the Chattanooga Choo Choo to Moonpies and Kay’s Castle ice cream parlor. “It brings back memories and helps people identify with where they’re from,” said owner Beth Adkins. “Kids who have gone off to college are getting these as presents, and people who have moved off are getting it to remind them of home.”

• The origin story: Adkins and her partner, Lanai Yelverton, got the idea for their nostaglia-inducing coasters last September while visiting an Atlanta gift shop selling a similar item. As hobbyist photographers, they decided to create their own as soon as they returned home. After making the rounds to receive permission to use photographs of local companies, they have generated a line of about 24 coasters, Adkins said.

• How long does it take to make: Adkins and Yelverton can turn out about 200 coasters a day.

• Where it’s sold: Accents (Signal Mountain), Rock City and Twiggs (Lookout Mountain), Genevieve Bond (East Brainerd Road), The New Moon Gallery (Manufacturers Road), Winder Binder (Frazier Avenue), Chrysalis (14th Street) and Colony 13 (Northgate Mall).

• What one costs: $8.95-$9.95

• Future expansions planned: Adkins said she has been sending out sample coasters in an attempt to get the coasters carried in the gift shops of national companies such as Cracker Barrel, Bass Pro Shop, Hard Rock Cafe and Harley Davidson.

• Lessons of the trade: “Businesswise, we’ve learned a lot about the dos and don’ts and how to deal with people,” Adkins said. “We’ve learned how to network and get with different people.”

about Casey Phillips...

Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...

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