Moms and their children very much a part of the annual fox hunt in Thomson, Georgia. Photo by GW Tibbetts

Moms and their children very much a part of the annual fox hunt in Thomson, Georgia. Photo by GW Tibbetts

Of course, shopping defines travel, at least part of most trips. Famous stores have a certain allure but little shops do too – especially if their owners are moms with a stylish flair who also embrace engaged parenting.

Look for mom stories behind the merchandise whenever you shop—gives more meaning to the purchasing. Here’s one destination with four to find readily.

The east central Georgia town named Thomson embraces three mom-owned shops side by side, and a fourth on the next block.

You can shop for yourself and your kids, also for your home. You’ll be shopping with moms who open their snazzy stores Wednesday through Saturday.DestinationReview

Those schedules take a city supporting urban revitalization and honoring family work/life balance. I saw city-supported art too near the shops.

Reasons for Choosing this Trip

You might visit Thomson in McDuffie County specifically for the Belle Meade Hunt that allows non-hunters like me to join the rolling tailgating party to watch traditionally clad equestrians follow the pack of handsome hounds in search of a fox.

Nancy Wilson models the look for female riders at the Belle Meade Hunt. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom

Nancy Wilson models the look for female riders at the Belle Meade Hunt. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom

Might also choose to break away from nearby Augusta, Georgia, to discover why Thomson is a town with deep musical roots including blues and featuring the annual Blind Willie McTell Festival.

Could come to figure out what the Quaker heritage might mean, and why did this town of population of almost 7,000 win a 2014 Governor’s Award in the Arts and Humanities.

First Find the Moms

Lori Ducey created Anna Lou Designs – clothing with a young woman’s vibe, and added creations selected by Shark Tank investors for bodies like mine.

Did you see the show the night Sharks Lori Greiner and Barbara Corcoran decide to invest in the Macon, Georgia designers who created Hold Your Haunches?

Try on a pair in Anna Lou’s for fanny-lifting inspiration. Trendy since the investment just happened in April of 2014.

Lori was seven weeks from delivering her fourth child when I found her shop; daughters Anna, 10, Lou, 7, and son Charlie, 4, were in school.

Tweens Not Quite Grown Up

Rubies is the Thomson store with the tween following. “These are clothes for little girls who no longer want to be frilly, but whose moms are not ready to let go of a look they’ve loved,” says Debbie Jones, the children’s boutique creator.

Rubies boutique owner Debbie Jones understands fashion for tweens. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom

Rubies boutique owner Debbie Jones understands fashion for tweens. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom

Her three daughters were all born in July, the month for the ruby birthstone, and so was she.

A classic Audrey Hepburn look rings true in her tween fashions, and she’s quick to point out “nothing to look suggestive.”

Rubies also carries little boy fashions and plenty of baby items, selected by a mom actively engaged in raising twins and a nine-year-old.

Language Lessons      

A little Greek lesson is available in Sapato Sole which owner Emily Cranford says is the Greek word for shoe.

She’s been a stay-at-home mom with four children ages 14, 12, 10 and 9 and now shares her footwear savvy with the same balanced hours as her mom-entrepreneur colleagues on the next block.

I bought two pairs of the snazziest baby booties I ever saw for imminent birthings in my blended family and dreamed about some high-rise leather boots for myself.

Graphic design is just the start of Emily Cranford's snazzy sense of shoes. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom.

Graphic design is just the start of Emily Cranford’s snazzy sense of shoes. Photo by Christine Tibbetts, Blended Family TravelingMom.

Wendy McMichael’s mom-with-a-shop story involves miracle healing too. Her daughter Laura Lane, age 6, was born after her husband’s lymphoma diagnosis and treatment.

The couple has two boys, Charles age 12 and Ches who is 16 and the home décor store is named for Laura Lane.

Mom Stories Enhance Shopping

When I knew all that, plus the ancestry stories of the Laura and Lane names, shopping with this storeowner felt more meaningful.

And that’s a possibility as we travel—finding more meaning behind the encounters.