Made in Tennessee: The Darn Yankee
The Darn Yankee is located off of highway 45 South a few miles from downtown Jackson. Before opening up the store Shelly Jo Curby ran another antique and vintage store until its owner retired seven years ago. She said that it was so addicting she had to open her own place. That’s when she opened the Darn Yankee.
“We started out with just a little part of the store and opened it up. And with every dollar I made I just kept investing, investing, investing until it was jammed packed. And now the basements full, the ceilings are full, everything is full, and we just continue to change inventory,” says Shelly Jo Curby.
Shelly Jo grew up in a big family and she believes that is what instilled her love for saving old things,
“I grew up in a family of eleven children, we grew up on a farm, was brought up by parents who were raised by the depression. So, we would not throw a nail away, we would literally straighten it out and put it in a can because we may use it. And I grew up that way we didn’t throw nothing away, we wasted nothing and it kinda just stuck with me…it’s my part of saving the world. Keeping it out of the landfill and finding someone who’s going to love it even more than I do.” says Shelly Jo.
The name for the store came from the nickname that Shelly Jo was given at her previous job by customers. They referred to her as that Darn Yankee since she is originally from Illinois.
The inventory comes from yard sales, people bringing it in to sell and everywhere else the Curby’s can find it
After retiring Brad Curby began to help his wife run the Darn Yankee.
“It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work… the reward out of it is just having people come in and shopping the store meeting a bunch of new people. It’s kinda cool. You know I’ve been in sales all my entire life and when I retired, I decided you know, this is pretty cool I'll come down here and hang out with my wife!”
Buying and selling vintage and antiques is shelly jo’s passion, “Finding it, buying it, bringing it in here and then having someone come in here and loving it more than I do is like the ultimate."