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Pam Pemberton- Homespun Zen

by Grace Bonney

Pam Pemberton- Homespun Zen, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Pam Pemberton is a style maven, tenacious earth mother, friend, farmer and entrepreneur. From 1984 to 1997, Pam owned the now-legendary woman’s clothing boutique, Hi-Lines in downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas. She carried many esoteric and at the time, somewhat obscure designers like J. Morgan Puett, Dosa, Vivienne Tam, Krista Larson, Flax and C.P. Shades. The shop’s collection of natural fiber clothing, handcrafted jewelry and accessories were housed on primitive farm tables, antique wardrobes and cabinets. Those who shopped there, and we who worked for Pam (I was a very-part time girl she basically paid to hang around and soak up the wonder) were intrigued not only by her eccentric wares and striking neutral palette(this was the late eighties!), but more so by her charismatic nature and the mystic sensibilities that infused her surroundings. We were all pretty devastated when she decided she had had enough retail and closed the shop. But, thankfully she’s now back!

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Fast forward to 2003- Pam opens Flora– a tiny jewel box of a floral boutique just a few blocks from where Hi-Lines once stood. Her same magical and organic sensibilities infuse her floral design and you won’t find any run of the mill bouquets coming out of this shop. Pam can also be found incorporating seed pods, twigs, berries and other woodland elements she gathers while foraging the woods surrounding her farmhouse. In addition to her floral designs she also stocks a handful of found items, pots, and vases for gift giving. Visit Flora’s website to view a gallery of shop photographs and design events.

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photo by Joseph Brajcki

Pam lives in a 1907 farmhouse on 6 acres at the very top of Mt. Sequoyah where from her wrap around porch she has almost a 360 degree view of the town. She can be found cooking up fresh greens from her garden on the original 1950’s kitchen stove using the iron skillet which once belonged to her great-grandmother. Her beloved Moondog can be seen retreating from the kitchen and the camera. Twelve years ago Moondog appeared as a puppy along a country road in the Buffalo Valley when Pam picked him up and began their longtime friendship.

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A view of the living room reveals a lifetime of travel and friendships. Pam purchased the metal bowl in Katmandu from a Tibetan refugee. The sculpture above the fireplace was made by her friend, Arkansas artist Helen Phillips. The charcoal drawing over the mantle was a trade exchanged years ago between Pam and Barbara a former Art Insitute of Chicago student who needed some new clothes! The wall color is painted in Farrow and Ball, Hay.

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Pam’s large mission desk holds a ceramic sculpture by Stephen Driver, and a small chair from the Ivory Coast via Jacques Carcanagues in New York in the 80’s. Atop the chair sits a ceramic vase from Ozark potter, Cheryl Buell next to an old ironware pitcher. The primitive desk chair was purchased from Jeanie Dean’s former Antique and B&B at The Chester Hotel.

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Pam’s covered porches provide lots of room for escaping the heat of an Arkansas summer. The teak bench was purchased in Bali for Pam by friend, Liz Crone. The vintage fabric pieced pillows are by Kathy P. Thompson and mixed with crewel pillows that depict paintings by MirΓ³ and Klimpt. The quilt was another purchase from Jeanie Dean.

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View from upstairs porch with hand-tied quilt- also from Jeanie Dean.

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The curtains in Pam’s bedroom are cotton painter’s drop cloths from the hardware store mixed with cotton blankets she purchased from a craft caravan years ago in New York. The small painting on the wall is by another Fayettville artist, Mary Jernigan and was purchased through a gallery in Houston in the 80’s. Jernigan no longer paints and Pam considers the piece one of her most cherished belongings.

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Gardening at a new home this spring, Pam’s daughter, Jen, built two raised beds from 12 inch cedar planks, filling them with mushroom compost, topsoil and peat. Her spring crops includes lettuces, spinach and kale in one bed and tomatoes and peppers in the other. Herbs are grown in a bed next to the house.

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A still life of antiques and florals available at Pam’s boutique.

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Flora is located just off the downtown Fayetteville, Arkansas square at 204 N. Block Street…479.442.7010.

Thank you for the years of fun and inspiration, Pam! xo
Photos by Holly Teaf unless otherwise noted. Thank you, Holly and Joseph!

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Comments

  • What a feast for the eyes! Wish this gifted earth mother would knock out a wall, add another room and sell some gorgeous linen clothing like in the good ole days. Oh well, just to step into this wonderful shop is a such a treat. What a calm feeling looking at the wonderful pictures of her home. I want to sit on the porch and have a glass of wine. We are so lucky to have such creative and interesting people here in our corner of the world. Pam encourages us to stop and smell the flowers.

  • Pam has the most beautiful shop, I am a frequent customer! It is great to get a peek inside her fabulous home

  • I am loving these Fayetteville posts! It’s amazing how small the blogging world is… I was friends with Liz Crone’s son in college! Too funny.

  • Pam is one of the most creative people I have ever met. Her sense of style in both her work and her living is an inspiration.

  • Pam is a one-of-a-kind treasure that can turn anything into something exquisite and beautiful. I stand in awe of her even after all these years.

    XO to Pam,
    Amy Z

  • I’ve known Pam for years and there is no one like her. A real creative force in NWA or anywhere in the world. Finally everyone can see her beautiful arrangements and the great taste that inspired me to live a more beautiful life.

  • This is wonderful & creative.
    I am from Searcy AR, now live in Dallas, my family are still in Searcy.
    I would love to visit your shop soon, I know my daughter Sherry would alos injoy visiting, I am sure we could find a treasure in your shop.
    Thank you,

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