Lil' Blue History

The building at 126 North Main Street in Historic Mansfield, Texas, has been owned by the Smith family since it was built in 1895.  It opened as a saloon, became a general store and pharmacy with doctor's services in the back, and then became Dr. Robert Smith's optometry office in the mid 1970's.  Dr. Smith and his wife, Ann, still practice at this location.
1946 - The Smith Building was a General Store and Pharmacy

In October 2014, Ann attended a Texas Downtown Association meeting.  The keynote speaker addressed a current dilemma facing small historic areas as they move toward restoration and renewed life: many spaces are occupied by businesses that do not encourage pedestrian interest or retail/residential growth - such as accountants, doctors, insurance companies and owners who simply use their real estate for storage. One solution posited was to 'space share' window front areas with artists, bakers, gift shop owners, or other 'eye catching' operations that will enhance downtown ambiance and draw shoppers to the area. Ann was convinced.

We began remodeling Dr. Smith's window front waiting room November 19, 2014, and officially opened for business January 23, 2015.  During the restoration, the walls and ceilings were taken back to their original architectural glory, a partition wall was built within four feet of the ceiling, and a new floor was installed.  Using salvaged furniture - painted various shades of blue of course - we created our merchandising spaces, and filled the shop with our art.  Before this wonderful adventure, people had to know where to find our studio and garden (link to our master website - Guard'n Planet - here) to see our creations... And thus the 'Lil' Blue Goat' was born!

Space sharing is a win-win for everyone: the hosting business receives more walk-in traffic, the tenant has an inexpensive space to launch a retail venture, and the historic district gains more interesting shopping opportunities for residents and visitors to explore!

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