Leo and Libby Gatton, owners of Sister’s Emporium, have traveled far and wide to end up right where they wanted to be all along. Leo, who originally grew up on a dairy farm, had traveled to this area on a Boy Scout floating trip to the Buffalo River as a teenager, and knew instantly that the Ozark Mountains is where he wanted to end up. Libby, a native to the Greenbrier area, has always know this area as home. Leo and Libby met at Amtran where they both worked. Not long after they began working together, Leo took a position in Connecticut and asked Libby if she would join him. From the way the story was told it, took her around 10 seconds to answer, and all she had to think about was how she was going to clean out her house. The Gattons would spend the next 23 years traveling throughout the states and a number of foreign countries before returning home.
Leo carried a fondness for antiques into the relationship and passed that passion onto Libby, who soon became the expert of the two. Through their travels they have owned antique shops and had antique booths from Utah to Florida, and many points in-between. In 2004, the Gattons found themselves in Mountain Home where they owned an auction house that strived for 11 years, when in 2015, they came the rest of the way home to be closer to family.
Leo and Libby have taken their years of experience in antiques and slightly used items into their new venture at Sister’s Emporium. They have filled the store with an assortment of antiques, collectibles, crafts, quilts, glassware, furniture, jewelry, coins, and mattresses. Throughout the years they have come to know the types of items that their customer desires, and pushes their vendors to keep fresh merchandise in their booths. It is this knowledge and business model that makes every trip to Sister’s enjoyable, and insures there will always be something new to see.
Sister’s Emporium is located in the old Walmart building on Hwy. 65, where they have just under an acre of roofed space and a 33,000 square foot showroom. With enough space to accommodate 200 vendor booths, they are always welcoming of new vendors. Typical size booths are 5 ft. by 10 ft. and 10 ft. by 10 ft., but they have the ability to build to suit the needs of almost any vendor. To accompany their typical antique booths, Leo and Libby would like to attract booths form local artist, woodworkers, homemade soap, or any product that benefits local residents and helps promote Clinton and its hidden talents.
There seems to be something always going on at Sister’s Emporium. They recently began hosting an auction on the first and third Friday of the month. They have opened a bookstore library for customers to purchase from or to use while in the store, and will be hosting their first estate sale/auction soon. One would think that the aforementioned activities would be enough to keep them busy, but they are also in talks with the chamber on using their highway frontage to help local farmers by organizing a farmers market.
Sister’s Emporium is located at 1355 Hwy. 65 S. in Clinton and they are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. You can reach them at 501-745-4716 for general questions or on how to get set up as a vendor.