The Ashland Beacon
We all have a memory of certain items in our grandparents homes or an aunt’s home, or maybe even a parents home, that we loved or was loved by them. Maybe it was heirloom china, a hall tree, pieces of furniture, or random knick-knacks that sat in a curio cabinet or hutch – but we still remember because we remember fondly the loved ones associated. Remember those baseball cards, ballgames on TV, and stories of the glory days gone by from an uncle, a grandfather, or big brother? You can hear the laughter, their voices, and smile at the reminder of where your love of baseball or a specific player or team came from. Memories like this always stay with us, no matter how long the years have been.
Bluegrass Collectors in Russell, Kentucky is the perfect stop to relive those memories and bring back to life those loved ones in your home. This unique little store has everything from sports memorabilia to home décor to old toys and everything in between. Owner Bryan Hall, an avid sports fan and memorabilia collector himself, says that the idea came from when he was working in emergency services and would buy and sell various items in the down time that he had working 12 to 24-hour shifts. “The inspiration to open a store front came from my mom and dad’s retirement, to have something to keep them busy. I had always wanted to open a store front and them moving back home gave me the motivation to go forward with the plan,” Hall proudly explained.
So, where do all of these items come from? Hall mentioned that “most of the items come from estate sales, flea markets, and auctions.” He recalled a funny story from the beginning of the journey, “One of the funniest experiences comes from my 9-year-old daughter, Avery’s first experience at an auction. She learned that all she had to do was raise my number to bid, so I had to take the card away from her so that I didn’t end up with even more stuff than I had planned.” Memories from years gone by, from generation to generation are now being transposed to the Hall family generation to generation and hopefully on to another family.
A new business doesn’t happen without its ups and downs, and Bluegrass Collectors is no different. Obstacles and victories are par for the course, but Hall said the most difficult part “came from trying to get all permits and tax paperwork done during Covid. Many state offices were still working limited hours and days.” The best part though, he said “is the freedom it allows for me to be able to be involved with my kids, as well as continue to coach high school sports. Both things I care deeply about, that being in another line of work may not allow me to do.” Hall is the current JV girls’ basketball coach at Russell High School and is the sitting president of his daughters’ youth basketball league.
Hall, a husband to Ashley, father to Avery and Taylor, and son to Greg and Devonna, was sincere when speaking of his family. When asked about his support system, he boasted “Without question my biggest supporter has been my wife, Ashley. Her career as a physician has allowed me to explore the things I am interested in. She has always pushed me to do things that make me happy.” Originally being from Boyd County, he speaks highly of the response he and the store have been given from both the Ashland and Russell areas. “The communities in Boyd and Greenup counties have been extremely supportive. Everything from stopping by the store, to shares and comments online have been so appreciated.”
Hall believes that small businesses are what gives small towns like Russell and Flatwoods their uniqueness. Those that visit the area are drawn to small, local businesses not only in Greenup County, but in Ashland and Boyd County as well. It is common knowledge and belief by the hard-working people of eastern Kentucky that local business is what built their towns and what will keep them going. “It has been a privilege to join the other small businesses in our local community. We are hoping to be more involved with the community as we move forward.” Hall is hopeful that the business will grow and will be able to move to a bigger space and expand, as well.
Hall was asked if he had any advice for anyone considering starting their own business. He was very adamant in saying, “I would tell potential small business owners to follow their goals and dreams, but also not to move too quickly. Patience with growth is crucial, in my opinion, for any start up business.” Good things do come to those who wait, but also to those who are willing to work for it, and he has proven that to be true with Bluegrass Collectors.
Bluegrass Collectors is located at 1417 Diedrich Blvd in Russell, KY. They are open 7 days a week: Monday thru Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 12-3 p.m. An official Grand Opening has not happened yet but is being planned. They are also on Facebook and can be reached by phone at 606.388.2633.