One enduring effect of the pandemic: It changed the way we view our homes.
Holed up in our properties for weeks and months on end, many of us turned to our outdoor spaces for some respite and a change of scenery. The home improvement business boomed as people upgraded their yards, gardens and patios.
And Yard Stuff, the Gulfport business founded by George Wilson in December of 2021, continues to meet the local demand for fun, stylish outdoor décor. After retiring from the U.S. Navy, Wilson went on to work in the commercial landscaping business for 15 years.
“I was inspired to open this store up from a store that is very similar to it back in my hometown of Tupelo,” he says.
Wilson got into landscaping because he’s always loved being outside, so owning a business that caters to other outdoor enthusiasts suits him well. When deciding what to call the business, he figured he’d keep the name simple, “so Yard Stuff it was.”
As for the location on Gulfport’s Tennessee Avenue, he says, “I chose this location because I believe this part of the Gulf Coast has a sense of community, I also know locals enjoy self-owned and local businesses.”
Yard Stuff customers can shop for all sorts of unique pieces to decorate their outdoor spaces. The store carries a variety of furnishings, signs, chairs, swings, spinners, lawn ornaments and more. Whether you’re strolling through Yard Stuff or scrolling through its Facebook page, you’ll find whimsical pieces like metal pigs and flamingoes and functional-yet-fashionable items like Adirondack and rocking chairs and wooden benches.
Much of the store’s pottery and metal work comes from Mexico, Wilson says, and most of its wooden furniture is crafted by the Amish.
“We have a better selection and better prices (than our larger competitors),” Wilson adds. “I travel to suppliers and hand select all the items.”
The biggest challenge so far, he says, has been keeping enough inventory to fill the 3,000 square-foot space. Nonetheless, Wilson plans to grow the business by offering new items and adding a full-service nursery at the same location in the fall.
“The most rewarding thing to see,” he adds, “is how happy my customers are bringing their new doodads home.”
IF YOU GO
4803 Tennessee Ave., Gulfport
Closed Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, noon- 7 p.m. Sunday