For anyone looking for formal wear in Williamson- whether it’s your first prom dress or a tux for your wedding, Family Traditions is the place to go. According to Renee Kessler, the owner and operator of Family Traditions, the shop got its start when her mother opened a shop to offer alteration services in McAndrews, Kentucky. The shop was named Family Traditions, after her dad’s coal truck. For years, she offered alterations to the folks in McAndrews. After her death, Renee and her sister, Jacquetta, decided to take a “leap of faith” and take over the business and move it to Williamson. “Losing her pushed us to do what we loved honestly,” says Renee.
From Home Decor to a One-Stop Prom Shop
They opened their doors in Williamson in February 2007, originally offering alteration services alongside antiques and home decor. With the rise of internet shopping and online bargains, Family Traditions had to shift their focus from home decor. “We could feel the decrease of our income and started brainstorming ideas. We both loved yard sales, so we started bringing in some of our own clothes and asking for used prom gowns, and it blossomed from there.”
Though Jacquetta has since moved, Renee still operates Family Traditions today. She describes it as a “one-stop prom shop”, offering a variety of consignment clothes, prom gowns, rental tuxedos, shoes, and jewelry. For Renee, the most special thing about running the store is getting to watch the young people who come in grow up. “You sell a girl her 8th grade prom dress, then for her high school formals and her senior prom. You take pride in knowing you’ve instilled a trust in your business that keeps bringing people back.”
Renee is also proud to be a local business, and encourages all her shoppers to buy in town when they can. “You hear people all the time say ‘I wish we had more retail stores in town!’ I say ‘then stop buying online so much!’ Support the moms and pops that are trying to improve our city. Give your local store the opportunity first if you want to see your community thrive and grow. Yes, you might pay $5 more for something, but the payoff to your local economy is immeasurable.”
To learn more about Family Traditions, visit their Facebook page.