Looking for a cake mix that only needs for you to add beer? How about a stylish purse featuring a compartment complete with holster for your pistol? Or maybe a full-size cowhide to use as a rug in front of the fireplace or as a tablecloth?
All these items and more are available at Bluegrass Living, 3445 Versailles Road, self-described as “A Kentucky State of Mind” that offers “Southern Lifestyle with a Kick!”
The shop, which opened in October, is housed in the former Paul Sawyier Galleries location. It’s the dream of Mary McKee, a Lexington attorney with Frankfort roots, and is operated by her sister-in-law Jo Lynn McKee.
“The idea is to offer unique products that may be difficult to find,” said Jo Lynn. “We focus on home décor and a variety of gifts.”
The store is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
The purse with the holster is, perhaps appropriately, called the “Jessie James Purse.”
“Those cowhide rugs,” says McKee, pointing to the “herd” hanging on the back wall, “are very in. They range in price from $500 to $900 depending on the length of the hair and the rug’s size.
“We’ve sold several of them. We purchase them at a market in Atlanta.”
The store is a little difficult to find on fast-moving U.S. 60 heading toward Versailles. It’s just past the Rebecca Ruth Candy store in the strip mall that houses a men’s clothing store, a church and a couple of other businesses and offices.
“We’re working to get the word out that we’re here,” McKee said, acknowledging that the business isn’t where you might normally expect to find a gift shop offering unique — if not exotic — selections.
Also featured are items from a company called Creative Brazil, based in that country. “The designer hires and pays local women there to make her jewelry, piece by piece. It’s very unique.”
There are also hand-blown glass items from Germany featuring wine and bourbon glasses designed to enhance the taste of the drink.
In the shop are special treats for dogs and horses from Hounds and Horses. “These are locally made by Kathy Campbell,” McKee said.
McKee says shop personnel also offer decorating assistance for the holidays. “We can use a client’s decorations or provide them from here at a discounted price.”
A flight and ICU nurse at the University of Kentucky Hospital for 36 years, McKee is from Elkton in western Kentucky. “When I retired from nursing, I wanted to do something different,” she said, “and to be closer to my kids.” She has a daughter in Lexington and a daughter and son in Louisville.
“Frankfort’s right in the middle.”