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‘Thank You, Sister’ From Sister Spirits

Posted on Monday, September 11, 2023 at 4:18 pm


Kim Mears-Vick, the owner of the new liquor store Sister Spirits in Whitwell opened her doors this past April and has enjoyed much success and support from the community.

Mears-Vick was born, raised, went to school and has lived her whole life in Whitwell. From her parents, who are also Whitwell natives, to her own children and grandchildren, Mears-Vick states “This is my home.” The intro of the business’s Facebook page proclaims, “I am a local coal miner’s daughter, born and raised here in Whitwell. American and Woman owned.”

Mears-Vick comes to the liquor business from the medical field. Just before deciding to open her own business, Mears-Vick found out that the law preventing beer and liquor sales had been lifted, though within the current guidelines of certain hours limiting the sales. Mears-Vick was working in the medical field in a private practice with a full staff and she left to open her own business. She described that this had been her father’s dream, to own a liquor store, but it had not been allowed until recently. “He’s getting up there in years, so I really wanted to make his dream come true.” Mears-Vick stated. Additionally, she expressed her personal strong desire to own her own business and felt it was just natural to start a liquor store. She said, “Hearing him talk about it all the time, it’s always just stayed in the back of my head.”

In leaving her previous job she expressed that many people did not understand her motivations for leaving a stable good job for an unsecure business. “Starting up, it’s exciting and scary but worth it.” said Mears-Vick. She further described her joy in making her father’s dream a reality, “You can just see it in his face when he comes around, he just grins ear to ear.”

Mears-Vick explained the name of her business is a culmination of several things. She is the youngest of four siblings and was always being called “sister.” Mears-Vick stated that, “Thank you, sister,” has always been a kind of catch phrase in interacting with other women. She stated that she wanted the name to be unique and eye catching but still special to her in a way of connecting and relating to the community in a familiar and familial way. And lastly Mears-Vick declared, “I wanted it to be known it’s a female owned business,” and that “we are women supporting women,” with all three employees being female.

When asked about the support from the community and the reception after the lifting of the restrictions surrounding liquor, Mears-Vick discussed the business and city as a whole. The money from citizens supporting local businesses directly ties back to their community in a full circle. She said, “Instead of going to other towns and the money going to them, people can come here and the money stays here. My other big goal was to help the community grow.” Mears-Vick also explained that community members have expressed to her that they are grateful and thankful to not have to drive elsewhere and can help support their own community.

Sister Spirits just celebrated their fourth month in business. Mears-Vick expressed her hope that her success will demonstrate and encourage other businesses the possibilities in Whitwell. She said, “I hope that this can also help other businesses start up and grow in this town.” Further bringing the town to its feet with hopes of growing even more in the future.

Looking forward Mears-Vick stated that at least once a month she wants to host a live band event with some type of food and beverage highlight – such as barbeque, wine/bourbon/vodka tasting, and an activity. “Something that will be fun and entertaining. I’m really wanting to bring the community together as we used to be.” Mears-Vick stated. Patrons should look forward to their upcoming Labor Day event and New Year’s Eve Bash.

In her final comments, Mears-Vick declared, “I’m just so very thankful and blessed to have grown up in this town and so grateful for all the supportive people here.”

Visit Sister Spirits at 14173 Tennessee 28, Whitwell, TN 37397. They are open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. See their website at to see their gallery and call (423) 658-2225 for more information.