Store owner brings Southwestern culture to Columbia

By CHERISH GRIMM

neighborhoods@columbiamissourian.com

When Kim Vesecky moved to Columbia after 16 years in the Dallas area, she didn’t want to leave the culture completely behind.

“I moved to Dallas the day after I graduated high school, so I like to think I actually grew up in Texas,” she said. Vesecky lived in Springfield until she was 18.

When Vesecky opened Salsa Gardens and Home Decor in July 2009, her goal was to “bring Texas back to Missouri.”

Salsa Gardens

Southwestern-style chimineas and clay pots sit outside Salsa Gardens.

All of the store’s inventory is hand-crafted in Mexico and Vesecky picks most of it herself.

“Every three to four months I rent a semi and head south for another load,” Vesecky said.  Occasionally, her husband will join her on the 17-hour trip to Nueve Laredo, Mexico, but most of the time Vesecky flies solo.

Vesecky sells plaster sculptures, hand-carved wooden benches, wire figurines and sculptures, glass sculptures and a variety of blown glass vases and candle holders.  Celestial, sun-themed wall decorations are her top sellers. Pottery, she added, comes in a close second.

Metal sculptures and glass figurines serve as table decorations in the store.

“People come in and take pictures and want ideas,” she said. “They bring pictures from home and I try to help them figure out what will work best.  I’m not really much into the actual design, but we do talk about things and I do help every now and then even though I’m not an interior designer.”

Vesecky said she is thrilled with her first year.

“The store is everything I imagined it to be and more,” said Vesecky. “So many people from the Southwest live in Columbia and they are thrilled when they come in.”

Vesecky’s next trip to Mexico is scheduled for late October.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays.

Longhorn skulls adorn the walls of Salsa Gardens.

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