Nashville GLBT Chamber news briefs

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Two Nashville GLBT chamber members open antique consignment shop

Mark Dickerson and business/ life partner of 25 years, Kevin Miehlke, opened the doors of J&B Treasures Consignment on July 1, 2007.  The 800-square-foot shop offers a cozy shopping environment in the heart of Donelson, in the old George Kelley florist location. 

The shop offers furniture, antiques, collectibles and glassware, using an affordable pricing structure. Dickerson notes, "You never know what you might find in the shop’s old flower cooler or back room. People have said they usually make several paths through the shop before seeing it all."

When asked why they decided to open a consignment store, Dickerson comments, "Having two sons I wanted more time with them and my family. I have always been a collector at heart and personally have a large collection of antique furniture, glass and Precious Moments collectibles. I also felt Donelson had a need for a consignment/antique shop."

Donelson Area Antique Store Closings – After seeing several antique stores closing in recent years, J&B marks a bright spot for antique enthusiasts in the Donelson/Hermitage area. Dickerson said he does not know of any other shops within fifteen miles of his. 

Based on the store’s instant popularity with repeat visitors and contracted consignors, the Donelson area demand for antiques is significant.  Dickerson states, "J&B Treasure’s fills a need in the Donelson area with the recent and past closing of shops like Old Character,Two Sisters and the Antique Emporium."

Owner’s Connection to the Nashville Antique Business – Dickerson commented about his prior antique experience stating, "For the past twenty years, I have either operated a(n) (antique) booth or worked part time in local consignment or antique malls. This has given me an opportunity to see many sides of the business such as operation, buying and, most importantly, reconciliation."

Working with Frank Ward and Estell’s –  Dickerson adds, "I have been very for fortunate to work with some of the greats in the business past and present here in Nashville.  Early on I worked in The Office of Attorney General with Nashville art deco great Frank Ward of local shop Highbrow Inc. I can remember during breaks we would talk of the beautiful art deco furniture and Frank’s buying and search of these items. We both moved on to parenthood and Frank to art deco fame.

"I also worked with the late Dean Finchum of the Madison Antique Mall. Mr. Finchum was such a kind man with a wealth of knowledge in antiques and collectibles. Working with Sandra Larson of Estell’s taught me her great skill of merchandising.

"My most recent experience was out of the antique and collectible business but smack in the middle of marketing. I worked with the late local Nashville Business leader Bud Chamberlain and family at Idea Art paper company. I can’t explain how lucky I feel to had the chance to interact with him and his marketing and catalog production team of Jack Pentzer and Rebecca Pierce."

J&B’s  Wish List – When asked about the consignment pieces J&B Treasures desires, Dickerson states, "We are seeking antique furniture from the 20s to the 60s, collectible glassware such as Carnival, Hob Nail and Fenton, china such as Lenox and dishes like Delft, collectible pottery like Hull, Haeger and McCoy. We also are asking customers to bring in collector jewelry like bakelite and costume pieces."

Collector Wish Lists – J&B’s offers a book customers can sign to list what they collect or are looking to find. The store owners hunt for the item(s) and notify the collector when the treasure is located.

Store Hours:  Tuesday – Saturday  – 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
Phone:  615-874-4747 

Hartman takes Nashville Pharmacy Services to southeastern USA with free RX delivery; offering HIV specialty medications

History – Kevin Hartman opened Nashville Pharmacy in 2000, after venturing into the major chain stores such as CVS and Eckerd Drugs. Hartman had developed an affinity for the independent drug store after working with his father at Blankenship Drugs, while attending high school in the mid 80s.  

Hartman told O&AN, "Initially, I was attracted to helping improve and extend a person’s quality of life. My father would prescribe right off the shelf. I remember my father taking pharmacy-related calls after hours. No corporate entity would dictate to him what to do; he just wanted to help people." 

Selling Family-Owned Pharmacy to Large Chain – Hartman’s family eventually sold their pharmacy to CVS in 1996, and Hartman opted to begin his official pharmacy career there. Hartman commented on the experience, "I did not like it there (CVS and later Eckerd Drugs). I did not appreciate the cookie-cutter mentality, where I was paid ‘to do’ rather than ‘to think.’ I saw very little of the company giving back to the community."

Opening Nashville Pharmacy Services – Hartman came to realize that while the ‘chain pharmacies’ worked well for the masses, they failed to properly care for an important segment of the population. Those with fixed incomes, limited transportation, or a disease diagnosis required more attention than any national chain could offer. 

Hartman commented, "There was enough need in Nashville to support an independent pharmacy and, essentially, control my own destiny."

Nashville Pharmacy Services opened using a room in the back of the Medicine Shoppe on Church Street. Hartman reached out to those residents with limited transportation. He traveled to indigent housing complexes, going door to door, telling potential clients that he would deliver their medicine to their homes. 

Hartman commented, "I delivered medications to 99 percent of my clientèle’ at the time. It was a very laborious process." 

Quickly, the news of Hartman’s pharmacy delivery services spread by word of mouth. After two weeks, Hartman hired his first employee, Kim Touchton, who still works with him today. Doctors who knew of patients with no transportation would often refer such patients to Hartman.   

HIV Specialization –   In 2002 an HIV clinic called Hartman and said, "Some of our patients require extra care. What you are doing could help them. Could you stock HIV drugs consistently? 

No pharmacies in the Nashville area are stocking HIV drugs. Our patients have to wait days or longer without needed HIV medications; they are often missing doses." 

Hartman welcomed the challenge. Today, Hartman has an integral relationship with Vanderbilt HIV researchers and stands at the cutting edge of HIV care.

Embracing the GLBT Community – Hartman stated, "When I began servicing HIV patients, I noticed certain Nashville businesses did not welcome the gay community. In 2003, I couldn’t believe there were businesses that didn’t welcome people; I was flabbergasted. I began a personal commitment to honor and welcome the gay community and started advertising in gay publications and sponsoring gay related events such as the Nashville Aids Walk."

Vision for 2008 and Beyond – As for the future of the pharmacy, Hartman stated, "I would like to build the ‘FTD of pharmacies."  I envision a network of independent pharmacies that do what we do. A patient in Seattle would be able to visit a Website and receive free delivery from a local pharmacist.  We would take the pharmacy to the patient, offer exceptional care and still provide a brick and mortar location."

Nashville Pharmacy’s expansion plans are far-reaching;  they now service the Southeastern United States with HIV medications by mail, doing business as RXFD (or RX Free Delivery). Hartman chose to serve the Southern United States to allow for quick shipping to patients. RX Free Delivery already has customers in several Southeastern states and Western Tennessee communities.

RX Free Delivery may be accessed online at www.rxfd.com or by phone at (615) 371-1210 or toll free at (866) 406-9266.   Nashville Pharmacy Services is located at 2222 State Street, Suite A, in Nashville.

Tribe offers new networking opportunity

Tribe, 1517 Church Street in Nashville, is providing free appetizers plus drink specials every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Network with other professionals in a relaxed smoke-free environment every week.

For more information, visit www.tribenashville.com or call 615-329-2912.