Paradise in the picker business; swap shop regulars expand into historic building

Published 5:10 pm Saturday, March 26, 2022

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The Netflix series ‘Swap Shop’ has given local entrepreneurs Doug and Jennifer Seals quite the boost in their homegrown business with the tremendous uptick in shoppers and sales at Pickers’ Paradise. The Seals’, who are regulars of the popular Netflix program, are in the process of expanding their shop in Tazewell to a second location. The couple plans to incorporate the historic Center Brick building by revamping the structure into an upscale antique, vintage and crafts mall.

The Center Brick building, that has for the last several years housed an indoor flea market, started out nearly a century ago as a tobacco warehouse. In fact, Doug spent many hours working in the warehouse as a teen.

Talk of demolishing the building prompted the Seals’ to step up to the plate.

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“We didn’t want that building to be torn down because it’s part of the history here. My husband grew up in that place,” said Jennifer.

She spoke of her and Doug’s ideas for the building.

“We plan to bring in more vendors – more antique dealers and craft vendors, more people to offer more vintage items. Food trucks will be available to come set up that will give people the opportunity to try out different kinds of foods. We’re trying to bring a different atmosphere to that building. You’ll still have that flea market feel but it will be more upscale.”

The couple admits it will be a massive undertaking.

“But, we’re very excited to start it and to really bring more people into the county. As more people come to see us, more people will be going to see other businesses while they’re in town. And, then they’ll want places to eat, so then that will be more revenue in Claiborne County. I love this place and I want people to enjoy it when they come to visit the lake like ‘wow, this is a really great place to live. These people are great. Look at all this cool stuff and there’re things to do,’” said Jennifer. “I’m a transplant here, but I’m in love – I actually love the people, the culture. I love the small town feel and I really just want to bring life to that building.”

She says she wants to bring this opportunity to fellow artisans and business owners so that they can “truly express themselves, to be able to make more money, to have nicer things.”

The new location will be open seven days per week. The Center Brick Warehouse building is located on Main Street in New Tazewell.

For more information about becoming a vendor or to rent a booth, call Christy Brock at 423-489-0070. Or, call Doug and Jennifer at 865-585-6702.