Meri Ellen Ringer
Co-Owner, The Gallery & Material Things
FASTTRAC participant, 2008
I started Material Things, Inc. as a part-time business, designing and fabricating quality Custom window treatments, bedding and Interiors. Quality and Custom was our focus and it quickly grew into a full-time job, graduating from a room in our home to a larger facility in order to professionally design and make our products. We have been fabricating Custom window treatments and other quality fabric items for the home for over 25 years - 16 of that right here in Newberry. About 10 years ago, we moved our retail store of gifts and home accessories from Chapin to Newberry and opened The Gallery at 1104 Caldwell Street. We love Newberry - it has charm and character. My husband's parents live here, owned a business here, and when they retired, they wanted us to take over the downstairs and "fill it up" - and we are.
My vision for Newberry is to see a more vibrant business community with additional retail stores offering a wider variety of goods and services, more consistent business hours, and a community that works together for the good of all. Newberry is a beautiful city, with much to offer. I would like it to be known not only for The Newberry Opera House, as a "city of friendly folks" or the host of one of the best Oktoberfests in the Southeast, but also as a fabulous place to shop, dine, relax, and find entertainment.
The advice I would give my 20-year old self is to be fearless. Plan, plan and work the plan.
You would be surprised to know that I am originally from Ohio. I came to South Carolina (something I planned from age 10) on a scholarship to Columbia College, met my husband Paul at church, fell in love, married, and now have 2 grown children. I am officially a "Southern Girl" as I have a double name and have lived in South Carolina longer than I ever lived up North - Thank God!
My Favorite Quotes:
“Do one thing every day that scares you."
- Eleanor Roosevelt
"Decide whether or not the goal is worth the risks involved. If it is, stop worrying."
- Amelia Earhart