Meet your hosts -
Mallorie and Jim Rasberry
You've most likely seen us on HGTV's Home Town with our family, Erin and Ben Napier....and we also co-own the Laurel Mercantile and Scotsman General Store with the Napiers and our friends, Emily and Josh Nowell.
Out of all of our businesses and various projects, hosting guests at The Laurel Cottages is definitely one of our favorites. Hospitality is our second language and there is honestly nothing that we enjoy more than welcoming visitors to our hometown and making sure they have a grand time.
Back in 2015 we started this hosting journey at our previous home. Nearly all the homes in the historic district have a small, separate “mother-in-law suite” cottage in the back yard. For decades, folks have used these dwellings as rentals ... but all long-term tenants. When we renovated our first home, we had an adorable little cottage in the back just like every other house on our street – and that’s where this story started. We were actually the first Laurel property on Airbnb and quickly realized our love for hosting folks visiting our hometown.
For the past 10 years we’ve all sat around many a board room table dreaming up strategies and ideas to make folks want to visit our City Beautiful. We’ve hosted events, we’ve ran marketing campaigns, completed lighting projects, restored buildings and houses, opened up businesses, agreed to be on a TV show…..you name it, we’ve done it.
And what we’ve found is that when we host our guests, no matter if they are from north Georgia or North Dakota, it brings the last 10 years of our dream to real life. With each check in of a guest, we see the real result of everyone's hard work.
We love that folks are coming to Laurel, spending their time and money in downtown visiting the Museum, shopping at our shops, walking underneath the lights from our lighting project, eating at our restaurants. They are having the time of their lives, right where we have the incredible gift of living our life daily.
Perhaps, that’s my favorite part of it all….our guests come to Laurel searching for a glimpse of the small town, American dream that they may have seen on TV…they get just that but they don’t even realize how big of a role they are actually playing in that dream.
Our hope is that each person that visits Laurel leaves inspired, optimistic and thankful for their own hometown and goes back home to make a difference. Because they sure are making a difference here in Laurel, even if they realize it or not.
There have been a lot of folks working hard to prepare for our guests, waiting patiently for a long while now....and we can't wait to say "Welcome to Laurel".