Mississippi is well known for its genuine hospitality, and that is precisely what you will get when you visit the Southern Sisters of Laurel, owned by true Southern sisters Suzanne Williams and Sandy Williams Hanna.
Located in an adorable cottage in the historic district of Laurel, the Southern Sisters boutique truly has something for everyone, and guests are always greeted like family.
Born and raised in Laurel, Suzanne and Sandy have created one of the most charming shops in the City Beautiful. Southern Sisters officially opened in 2021 and has thrived thanks to Suzanne’s creative flair and the financial guidance of Sandy, an accountant at Wayne Farms who works at the shop with her sister whenever she can.
Their Mississippi pride is evident in the collections they have on display at the store. With a very creative eye, Suzanne creates gorgeous displays of unique and lovingly made paintings, all artworks, handmade crafts, and jewelry with a distinctly Southern theme. When you visit the Southern Sisters, you’ll discover just how much talent there is in the Magnolia State.
“It has always been important for us to support Mississippi artists, and we take such pride in doing so,” Suzanne said. “A lot of the work is from some very talented artists in the area and from all around the state, and we do have some collections from artists in other states. We always try to feature things that are special and unique that you won’t find anywhere else.”
Visitors are always surprised at how extensive and diverse their collections are as they feature original works of art and handcrafted pillows, aprons, and adorable children’s clothes that are lovingly done from remnants of clothing and material, upholding the adage that nothing goes to waste for this artisan. There are also hand-carved wooden works of beauty, intricate jewelry, and a unique collection that displays stones gathered from the designer’s property. The stained glass works of art are breathtaking and created by local artists who live in South Mississippi. You’ll love the beautiful shirts, ornaments, and other adornments that reflect their love of Laurel and Mississippi.
They even have a “little man cave area” that features handcrafted wooden fishing lures, pens, and shaving kits that would make for timeless presents for that special man in your life. Along with the handmade works of art, the Southern Sisters also offer lots of popular mainstream items that are some of their best sellers, such as the chic and functional Clip-and-Go phone straps and chains which will keep your phone, money, and other essentials safe in such a fashionable way. You also find the wildly popular handy bags to carry your favorite beverage bottle—even wine bottles. These are very popular for the Wine Down Downtown events held throughout the year. You really need to pay a visit to the Southern Sisters to see all the beautiful things they have to offer.
Laurel has been in the limelight for the last few years due to the success of HGTV’s “Hometown,” featuring Ben and Erin Napier. Guests have come from all over the globe to visit the city and have been pleasantly surprised by the many specialty stores, restaurants, and shops the town offers.
“We have met tourists from every state and even some from England, France, Australia, and just all over,” Sandy said. “It’s kind of mind-boggling at times when you see people from Europe or all around the country that know about Laurel and want to come visit.”
“A lot of the guests come in telling us how much they enjoy Laurel because there is such a great community spirit here,” Suzanne said. “They love how business owners are pretty much like neighbors here, and we’re all united and supportive of one another. When they walk through the historic district, homeowners will talk to them for a while, offer help, or just chat and visit with them. As Southerners, we’re accustomed to that Southern hospitality, and we always love when visitors tell us how much they love how warm and welcoming everyone is.”
Tourists have also discovered how much the city has to offer. While strolling through the antique and specialty shops downtown, guests have found that there is even more to explore, and the Social on 7th will showcase even more unique shops located just a block up from the downtown district.
On Oct. 21, Social on 7th will feature these businesses and some fabulous vendors for the event. It will be a great day for the whole family as there will be live music by Zo and Troy, face painting and arts and crafts for the kids, food vendors offering delicious treats, plus a host of very talented vendors featuring their arts and crafts and beautiful creations. It will be great to visit Southern Sisters and check out their diverse displays.
A special event that the Southern Sisters are excited about will be a book release and signing of “The Yaya Chicks on the Funny Farm,” based on the whimsical YaYa Chicks and their adventures on the farm. Artist Kristie Coats created the YaYa Chicks, and anything featuring these adorable chicks flies off the shelves. The fun, beautiful book is a collaboration of Coats’ illustrations and the story written by Cyndie Lepori. Come pick up your copy and get a chance to meet these talented ladies.
Excitement has been building about the event, and the Southern Sisters extend a special invitation for everyone to come and enjoy the day in Laurel. Meeting visitors and guests is what the Southern Sisters love best.
“My favorite thing about having the business is getting the opportunity to meet everyone that comes to our town and visit with some of our loyal customers,” Sandy said.
“I always love meeting and visiting with everyone that comes in, but I also love to see the looks on their faces when they see just how much we have to offer and how big the store truly is,” Suzanne said.
A visit to Southern Sisters is complete with a fun photo op featuring the gorgeous mural of a glorious sunset that will have you looking like you’re right at home in the backend of an antique truck. Take advantage of Social on 7th, slated for Oct. 21 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and get a chance to meet these sweet Southern sisters.
“We think it will be a great combination of community and creativity,” Sandy said. “It will be a wonderful celebration of our talented people in Mississippi.”
For more information about the Social on 7th event, visit (10) SOCIAL ON 7TH | Facebook.