After 25 years as a buyer in the corporate world, Tommy Barker decided it was time to set up shop himself. In November 2006 he opened Heliotrope in downtown Decatur. He caters to a community that enjoys purchasing personal and home accessories designed with an out-of-the-box viewpoint.
The motto of his store is “good things for good people.” In 2010, Heliotrope was selected as Atlanta Magazine’s Best Gift Shop.
“The thing that ties our items together is thoughtful design,” says Barker, who is gay. “What I really like to do is find brand new designers with a different take on an item. I also like to support independent designers and local designers.”
One way Barker keeps up with what’s fresh and new is to read design blogs to find items he believes customers will want to give their homes an extra splash of individuality.