DOTS brings personal touch to Morristown
Celebrating the recent ribbon cutting at DOTS are Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Mike Barnard, left, Chamber Chair Roni Snyder, Lexi Menees, Alli Greene, Stephanie Menees, Riley Menees, Emma Barnett, Owners David and Janine Barnett, Lauren Barnett and Chamber Ambassador Karen Crumbley.
The “buy it or bring it” business motto is a draw for customers, but new owner Jeanine Barnett needs no incentive to walk in the doors of DOTS every day.
Located in the Manley Shopping Center, off West Andrew Johnson Highway in Morristown, the whimsically decorated store offers the personalization services for a variety of items using monograms or names with decals and embroidery.
“We have some really cute merchandise that can be given as gifts or purchased for yourself,” Barnett said. “We carry everything from coffee mugs to insulated Tumblers, acrylic serving pieces, nametags, key chains, license plates, phone cases, lunch bags, totes, purses, totes, beach bags and duffel bags.”
Jeanine Barnett bought DOTS around Easter of this year, but knew long beforehand that she was a perfect fit for the unique retailer.
“This is a whole new thing for me,” she told representatives from the Morristown Area Chamber of Commerce during a recent ribbon cutting.
“I’ve been a pastor’s wife for more than 20 years,” she said. “I’ve always enjoyed things that are creative; I enjoy doing things with my hands and I enjoy people. We’ve been friends for several years now with former owners Jeremy and Stephanie Menees.
“God has our plans laid out; he knew ahead of time that when they were creating this business, it was meant for me,” Barnett said.
Alli Green helps Barnett run the store.
“She’s a joy to work with,” Barnett said. “Emmy and Lauren, my girls, have started working here one day a week. We’re all learning to work together as a family. As a parent, when I think about what my parents instilled in me —the value of hard work — the girls are learning that hard work does pay off.
“I was raised to understand that things just don’t come easy; that you have to work for things. I’m so happy that my parents taught me that now: mowing the yard, working alongside with mom, babysitting and dog sitting. They instilled something that is valuable to me today.”
The uniqueness of the shop includes originally designed T-shirts and other items.
“Lots of people come in with great ideas they have on their phone or that they have in their head and ask, ‘Can you help make this for me?’” Barnett said. It may be a one-year birthday shirt for the baby, and matching shirts for the parents and family.
“They get excited about it when they take it out of the store. The demand is there, we can barely keep up,” she said. “We have a one-week production schedule, including graphic design, etc. We are going to add a few easy things that you can walk in and carry out within a day. We’re hoping to add more inspirational items that will help people. I want to share my Christian faith. We can digitize any company logo and will keep it on file. We would love to help small businesses in that way.”
“Thank you for your investment in the community and the Chamber,” Snyder said.
DOTS was originally opened by Jeremy and Stephanie Menees in November 2013.
Jeremy’s mother, Roxanne Holt, became the store manager and produced the embroidery items. Christmas 2013 was a successful beginning for the new venture.
Things changed in February 2014 when Roxanne’s husband, Bill, became sick following surgery and was hospitalize for several weeks. During his illness, Janine Barnett came to work at DOTS.
As a friend of the Menees, she remembered the Menees’ talking about their plans to go to the Atlanta market to find items to sell, and she knew it would be a fun store. While running the store in Roxanne’s absence, she enjoyed meeting the customers and learning, day-by-day, a little more about the business.
When Bill Holt passed away a few months later, Roxanne made the decision not to return to DOTS.
“After weighing the options, we both agreed that Janine would buy DOTS,” Jeremy Menees said.
“I could hardly sleep at night for all the ideas running through my head,” Janine said.
She said that fans of Etsy and Pinterest can request many of the custom items they see on the popular websites.
Greene is currently a college student at Walters State Community College, studying Elementary Education.
“Alli has a natural ability to be creative and is an asset to this business with her easy smile and helpfulness,” Stephanie Menees said.
David Barnett is pastor of Freedom Fellowship in White Pine, a non-denominational church founded eight years ago. The couple has two daughters, Lauren, age 15, and Emmie Barnett, 12.
-By Glenna Howington, Tribune Staff Writer