Walking into We Took to the Woods is a singular experience. The seasonal retail shop and candle company, open for several months twice a year, sits on Stone Avenue, tucked between trendy new apartments and an old tattoo parlor. And whether it’s the spring/summer or fall/winter shop edition, there’s a reason people from all over flock to the store.
Maybe it’s the seamless pairing of eclectic décor and high-quality products. Maybe it’s the heat of the mulled wine or the subtle scent that carries you back to crisp fall evenings of yore. Maybe it’s Frank Sinatra crooning in the background. Wherever it comes from, the ambiance is welcoming, like walking into someone’s warm and winsome home on a chilly day.
“One thing I’ve never cared for is going to a home that looks like it was designed,” says Bob Yearick, who runs the store with co-owners Nancee Lee Yearick and Denise Corey. “Like it was put together, like people don’t live here. We approach this whole thing from how people would really feel if they came into our house.”
We Took to the Woods began as a one-time pop-up in 2011 but gained such a following, especially with their handcrafted candles, that the concept quickly transformed into a seasonal presentation. More than a decade later, the Yearicks and Denise Corey are still investing the same artistic energy into the shop, and this fall’s showcase is no exception.
“It’s a process,” Yearick says. “It can feel like, what is taking so long? Well, it’s an artistic process.”
The shop’s transition between seasons can take weeks, even months, to bring to fruition. Walls are upholstered or covered altogether. Floors are painted, and furniture moved. One year, the front room centered around an antique Lewis and Clark dugout canoe; the next, it was transformed into a bedroom.
“We may have a concept that we start out with, and it flows into something else,” Corey says. “He mainly focuses on the concept, and I take that and interpret it.”
While some of the product, like glassware, crystal, and pottery, is repurposed seasonally, expect to find unique items for autumn, like Dents fine leather gloves, men’s and women’s luxury sweaters from Harley of Scotland, and Johnstons of Elgin cashmere throws, sourced and crafted in Scotland since 1797. And whether it’s German smokers or Colombian cookware, the merchandise will most likely be hand-touched, beautifully crafted items from artisans who take pride in their work.
“In the fall, we liken it to a more masculine feel because we bring in more tweeds and plaids, heavier fabrics, the wools,” Corey says. “We try to create a space that just absorbs you, comforts you, and makes you want to stay.”
For this fall’s experience, Bob and Denise hint at an automotive theme, thanks to some elegant driving gloves they’ve found. But nothing is set in stone, including the opening date. While this year does include a plan to transition from the fall presentation into an exclusive holiday addition, part of the magic is waiting to see exactly what’s in store.
Follow on Instagram @wetooktothewoods for fall opening dates. For candles, visit wetooktothewoods.com; (864) 451-7155; 106 E Stone Ave, Greenville.
Can’t Miss Items & Brands
This collection of bowls, plates, and dishes crafted from locally mined clay in the small village of La Chamba, Colombia, makes a unique, artisanal gift for the chef in your life.
From dress gloves to outdoor mitts, this international brand crafts its products with carefully sourced leathers and wools. Fit for bikers and drivers alike.
We Took to the Woods Candles
“People attach themselves to a scent,” says Bob, referring to the popularity of their Christmas on Cedar Run candle, which customers buy year-round. For this season’s collection, don’t miss Gumboots in Winter, Three Wool Shirts, or my personal favorite, Whiskey River.
Photography by Aaron Greene