During COVID-19, Buddy Frederick and his son, Jayson, embraced the opportunity to support small businesses in Cartersville.
The Southern Cove co-owners established the GA Strong campaign, in which they sold 238 T-shirts from April 15 to 25 and raised more than $3,200. Funds were distributed among eight businesses: Heaven Scent Cupcakes, Creative Organics, Olive Tree and Vine, RocknShop, Creative Tag, OHMS Electronics, Wall to Wall Frames and Copperwood.
“I love helping others anytime I can,” the elder Frederick said. “The pandemic just gave us another opportunity to come up with a way to lessen the financial burden in a small way for a few small business owners in the area and we were blessed to do so.”
In honor of their efforts, the father and son were among those honored by the Frontline Heroes project that saluted people going above and beyond during COVID-19. From May 13 to 25, the contest accepted nominations from the public, with the individuals receiving the most nods deemed the winners.
“God put it on my heart to be proactive during this time,” Jayson Frederick said. “We just felt like instead of sitting and waiting for business to rebound, we used the downtime to create a project that would help others struggling like us.”
Name: Buddy Frederick, 57, and his son, Jayson Frederick, 39
Occupation and title:
Buddy Frederick — Southern Cove co-owner;
Jayson Frederick — Southern Cove co-owner
City of residence:
Buddy Frederick — Dallas, Georgia
; Jayson Frederick — Cartersville
Buddy Frederick — wife, Michelle Frederick; son, Jayson Frederick.
Jayson Frederick — wife, Katie Frederick; son, Christian; daughters, Emma and Grace
The Daily Tribune News (DTN): When and why did you start your business, Southern Cove?
Buddy Frederick (BF): In March of 2018, Jayson and I decided to start a business together as we both had been working for other companies and were ready to work for ourselves instead of the corporate world. We were going to start our business selling products that we would purchase from auctions and businesses that sold pallets that had new and returned products from the big box stores. During our store buildout in the West End Commons shopping center off Henderson Drive here in Cartersville, we decided the products that we planned to sell just wasn’t going to look good on the shelf. It was going to look like a thrift store or second hand store and that wasn’t what either of us wanted. So we started looking for products that we felt like people would buy and they couldn’t find anywhere else locally. We originally started out using a different name, “Whata Deal.” We knew the name didn’t fit what we sold and the type of store we were, so we changed the name to Southern Cove.
Jayson Frederick (JF): We started Southern Cove in 2018 as an escape from working in corporate America. We just had reached a point to where we couldn’t work for “the man” any longer. I had always wanted to start my own business and after my last stint as a district manager for a major retailer left a bad taste in my mouth with the cold corporate culture, I put in my notice and knew I had to make a change. My dad and I decided to open a store in West End Commons here in Cartersville. We had 1,000 square feet and no idea what we were going to sell after realizing that the pallet and auction products we planned to sell were just not going to display well. So we starting partnering with brands we saw people wearing. After researching trends, we began to fill our store with unique gifts that you just couldn’t find here. We kept our prices affordable and grew from there.
DTN: What types of items do you sell at Southern Cove, and what are some of your top sellers?
BF: We sell a lot of different products from T-shirts to small gifts that make people laugh. We sell a lot different T-shirt brands, like Simply Southern and accessories, Straight up Southern, Salt Life, Heybo, Southern Limit, Lily Grace, Southern Country, Itsa a Girl Thing and Girlie Girl. We also sell funny small gifts, like Blue Q oven mitts, kitchen towels, men’s and women’s socks and funny coasters. We also sell men’s grooming supplies from Duke Cannon, 18.21 Man Made, Olivina Men. We also have a retro candy section where we sell vintage candy.
JF: We carry a large variety of brands, including the largest Simply Southern Collection around, Salt Life, Guy Harvey, Heybo, Duke Cannon, Vera Bradley (we are the only authorized Vera dealer in Bartow), Straight Up Southern, Southern Limit, Lily Grace, Girlie Girl, Itsa Girl Thing, Chala, TY, Blue Q, retro candy, etc. We also carry our own Southern Cove branded apparel.
DTN: When and why did you relocate Southern Cove to downtown Cartersville, and what do you enjoy most about owning a business in the downtown area?
BF: We needed more space as well as more exposure, so in May 2020 the opportunity came when the Cohutta Fishing Co. decided to move their stock to their Blue Ridge location and their space came available. So we moved quickly on that and relocated to the historic downtown area here in Cartersville. The acceptance and overwhelming love we have received from the other business owners, our existing client base as well as our new customers has been awesome. We are very blessed.
JF: We were quickly outgrowing our space and when the perfect location that was nearly five times larger became available, we had to jump on it. The neighboring business owners have been so welcoming and kind. We absolutely love the feel and the foot traffic of downtown.
DTN: What do you enjoy most about working with your son/father?
BF: It has been incredibly awesome having the opportunity to work with Jayson. We have a great time every day.
JF: There is no one I would rather partner with than my dad. He is the kindest man and a blessing to share this journey with. We bounce ideas off each other and approach things from a different prospective.
DTN: How did you serve the community during COVID-19? Share some details about your GA Strong T-shirt campaign.
BF: Working with Jayson on the GA Strong shirt project was amazing. It was an opportunity for us to give some financial assistance to other small businesses that were experiencing very difficult times during the COVID-19 outbreak by designing, creating and selling a special T-shirt and donating all profits to some very deserving small businesses.
JF: I had an idea to create a shirt that we could sell and donate 100% of the profits to other local businesses that were affected financially. We designed the tee and posted a pic for pre-orders to open and in a few days we sold 238 shirts generating over $3,200 dollars in profits. We were able to give back to eight different businesses. The response was incredible and our customers made this possible. We were in no better shape financially — COVID really destroyed our business income. I remember being down to my last $16 and handing out thousands to others during this project knowing God would provide. He did just that. Moving to this location has been a game changer and a huge blessing.
DTN: What did receiving a Frontline Heroes award June 13 mean to you?
BF: Receiving this award is a little weird for me as I would rather be in the background anonymously than front and center, but it is much appreciated.
JF: It was truly unexpected and an amazing gift to be recognized. The project was a lot of hard work and helped others when they needed it most.
DTN: What is your greatest professional and/or personal achievement?
BF: I have done a lot of different things in my life from owning a specialty window and door company to becoming an IT administrator and now a retail store owner. I think my greatest personal achievement is my son, Jayson. Watching and working with him every day is a blessing.
JF: My greatest professional achievement is firing corporate and starting my own business. My greatest personal would be raising my three children with my wife.
DTN: How would you describe yourself in three words?
BF: Kind, compassionate, humble
JF: Christian, driven, kind
DTN: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
BF: I am a hands-on type of guy. I’ve done everything from carpentry, cabinetry, plumbing, electrical, IT network administration and accounting.
JF: I used to be an actor and live in Hollywood, California. I stared in TV shows, film and TV. I acted from age 5 until I was 25 years of age.
DTN: What is the best advice you have ever received?
BF: Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes.
JF: Don’t try and be better than your competition. Be different.
DTN: What do you like to do in your spare time?
BF: Watch movies in my in-home theater.
JF: Watch movies with the family in my home theater.
DTN: Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
BF: Historic downtown Cartersville.
JF: Downtown Cartersville. The shops and restaurants are incredible.