Hidden Spirits: A taste of Appalachian art, history in Tryon

Published 10:06 am Tuesday, January 23, 2018

TRYON – A new shop is bringing home the flavor of Appalachian history to Tryon. Hidden Spirits is the creation of Brenda Draycott Owens and Diane Ledbetter.  

The two women, who are sisters, have scoured the nooks and crannies of Western North Carolina, Eastern Tennessee and Upstate South Carolina to find the very best in handmade and handcrafted unusual art. They named the store Hidden Spirits because the artists, whose work fills the store’s shelves, have a knack for brining out the spirit of the carved wood pieces.  

From the hand carved wooden bowls to the small gnome statues carved with a pocket knife, the shop is filled with both practical and decorative pieces of art. Owens and Ledbetter themselves make the beautiful straw brooms that hang across one wall. 

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American Girl, hand carved wood doll furniture, such as small doll beds and doll sized wooden high chairs, are tucked into a corner next to an old fashioned rocking horse. Beautiful hand turned pottery vases with scenes of Appalachia share a sideboard with handmade soaps of subtle outdoor scents. 

One corner is filled with a small Christmas tree tastefully decorated with old-fashioned hand carved ornaments. “We’ll have a year-round Christmas corner,” said Owens.  

Though the two sisters grew up in Hendersonville and live in Boiling Springs and Campobello, there was no question about where to open the shop. “Tryon’s like home to us,” Ledbetter said. “We wanted the small Appalachian town feel.” 

Diane Ledbetter places a chainsaw carved wooden horsehead on display in the new store she co-owns with her sister, Brenda Draycott Owens. (photo by Catherine Hunter)

Since it is located in Tryon the two women made sure to include large chainsaw carvings of beautifully detailed horses, horse themed coat racks and bathroom fixtures, and of course, horseshoe art. 

The shop is located at 90 N. Trade St.  They will be open Thursdays through Saturdays for winter hours in January and February. Then, starting in March, will open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.