Lake Norman & Mooresville

Her love for the town leads to idea after idea

Sometimes, it's the smallest moments that set our lives on different paths. And sometimes we don't realize that path for years.

In the mid-1980s, Alice Garbrick and her husband, Dave, were heartbroken to leave their beloved town of Hudson, Ohio, and make the move to Davidson. They thought they'd never find a place that would rival Hudson's charm and atmosphere.

As a going-away gift, they were given a framed watercolor print depicting a street map of where they lived, bordered by lovely illustrations of town landmarks. Over the years, Alice fondly revisited the print, remembering her years in Hudson.

As the Garbricks settled into their new home in River Run, they were pleasantly surprised to find that they loved their new town every bit as much. And when friends moved away or retired, Alice wished she had something like her print to give them as gifts. "I wanted residents to have keepsakes of this town I'd come to love so much," she said.

And so an idea was born.

In 2007, Garbrick enlisted the help of her friend, Kathy Feezor - an artist she met while sewing cuddle quilts at Davidson United Methodist - to help bring the idea to fruition.

Feezor put together a print depicting many of the landmarks Davidson residents call their own - the library, Chambers Building, the Soda Shop, Town Hall, Beaver Dam, Summit Coffee and the Village Store. And Garbrick, a former computer programmer who had no background in how to run a business, took it from there.

She enlisted printers, made contacts at Main Street Books, sold the print at shows and at Christmas in Davidson, and figured that was it. She had given Davidson residents a lovely memento of their beloved town.

And then she had another idea.

How about a book? Maybe about an animal that visits Davidson. "And of course, with us being the Wildcats, I know he had to be a cat," said Garbrick. And so Percy was born, and Garbrick found herself writing a children's book, "Come With Me to Davidson," about his adventures on South Main Street and beyond.

And her ideas kept coming. Note cards. Collages. Christmas cards.

When she set up to sell outside of Main Street Books on Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings, Garbrick noticed, "In order to be there, you must have either a baby or a dog to hold on to." So when a friend got a new puppy, she had another idea that resulted in "I'm a Davidson Dog" - a "baby book" for our four-legged friends.

"From the beginning, I have done this out of a love for Davidson, because it's such a special place to live," said Garbrick. "It has been an unexpected and fun fulfillment at this point in my life. It's been much more work than I anticipated, but it's all been fun work, and it's all worth it."

Because truly, there is no place like home. And there's no place like Davidson.