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New Oxford store offers ‘a little

About two months ago, Sarah Smythe and her mom, Sherry, visited Oxford, and there was something about the town they couldn’t leave behind.

“We haven’t spent a lot of time in Oxford,” said Sarah Smythe, a Leland native. “We came here on a whim one day for a project we were working on, and we felt such a great energy in the town. We rode around the Square and saw a space that was available.”

That trip led the Smythes to open a second location of their interior decorating and home furnishings store, Lagniappe, in Oxford. The name means “a little something extra.”

The store at 1300 Van Buren Ave., Suite 109, just down the hill behind Neilson’s Department Store, will have the grand opening today from 5-7 p.m.

Sarah Smythe attended school in Greenville before studying apparel, textiles and merchandising at Mississippi State University. She later spent five years in New York City working for interior designers and managing their business.

“I love what I do every day,” she said. “I love working with people and meeting new people. And now being able to do that through interiors with their homes. It’s such a personal space.”

The Smythes’ store in Greenville, run by Sherry Smythe, has been in business the past 25 years.

“I have been back in the Delta for almost four years working with her and co-owning that store,” said Sarah Smythe.

She said Lagniappe focuses on home interior.

“We have everything from furniture and lighting to accessories — everything you need to make your house beautiful,” she said.

The store also specializes in Southern art.

“We have original art from artists all over the South,” Sarah Smythe said.

The store features the work of Oxford artists Shelia Gourlay and Liz Nichols, among others.

“It’s our unique way of completing your home and making it truly yours,” she said.

Anything found in the store can be purchased. They can also place special orders for products, and they offer interior design services.

“We try to mix in old antique pieces with new modern pieces and give a special look to your home,” Sarah Smythe said. “We are trying to build classic homes that will last a long time. We try to avoid the trends. We like to be timeless. But that being said, we do have all the trends too.”

She said the store also carries wallpaper books.

“A lot of people have been saying that is needed in Oxford,” she said.

The Smythes also utilize a fabric library in Greenville when working with people in their homes.

“We have a good mix of pieces that make the space your own,” Sarah Smythe said.

To learn more about the store, visit the website http://www.lagniappefinegifts.com.

About LaReeca Rucker

LaReeca Rucker is a writer, reporter and adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Mississippi's Meek School of Journalism and New Media.

A veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience, she spent a decade at the Gannett-owned Clarion-Ledger - Mississippi's largest daily newspaper - covering stories about crime, city government, civil rights, social justice, religion, art, culture and entertainment for the paper's print and web editions. She was also a USA Today contributor.

This year, she received a first place award from the Mississippi Press Association for “Best In-Depth Investigative Reporting.” The story written in 2014 for The Oxford Eagle chronicles the life of a young mother with two sons who have epilepsy, and details how she is patiently hoping legalized cannabis oil experimentation will lead to a cure for their disorder.

Her website is www.lareecarucker.com.

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