This March, Hillyer House, a nationally recognized and award-winning gallery, will celebrate its 50th year in business. Established in 1970 by the Hillyer-Reed family, owner Paige Riley collects exceptional works of art from over 300 local, regional and national artists. The business has survived 2 major hurricanes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and continues to flourish with in-store and online sales through their website, hillyerhouse.com, along with their well-followed Facebook page and Instagram. The store plans to celebrate its rich history and 50 years in business with a variety of events from March through September.
The kick-off for the gallery’s Golden Anniversary is Saturday, March 28th, and will host Annie Morhauser of Annieglass who has been creating tabletop glass pieces for 31 years. Paige Riley, owner of Hillyer House, said “I want to celebrate the store’s 50 years in business, but also the years our artists have been in business themselves! Their creativity and hard work have allowed me to carry such wonderful pieces for our dedicated customers.” Riley says to expect a fresh look from Hillyer House as they move forward into the next decade. The theme for the year will be “Everything Gold” and many artists will be providing special pieces to help celebrate the stores milestone.
Hillyer House was started 6 months after Hurricane Camille by Katherine Reed and her aunt Nellie, as a way to help family and friends re-furnish their homes as they cleaned up and rebuilt along the MS Gulf Coast. The original logo for the store was Sherlock Holmes because they travelled all over the United States and Europe, looking for specific treasures that clients had lost in the storm. Nellie’s living room was filled with fine English Antiques until they found the location on Scenic Drive in Pass Christian, where the shop remained for 36 years.
Alongside antiques, the first 10 years of business brought American reproductions, original art, high-end fabrics, design services, fine China, crystal, beautiful brass accessories and gorgeous silk flowers. They offered furniture refinishing and estate sales. When the 80’s arrived, many items were being made in China and Hillyer House began its mission to focus on “American Made”. Sporting the “new self” mermaid logo, painted by the famous Patt Odom, Hillyer House looked all over the United States for stunning American crafts, new collections of handmade pottery, stunning glass and art jewelry , copper fountains. Artists ranged from local craftsman from New York to California. They continue to remain true to the “American Made” mission today.
Paige Riley, Katherine Reed’s daughter, is the owner of the store today. Hurricane Katrina left Pass Christian with little to nothing, so just like her mother and Aunt Nellie, Paige restarted Hillyer House in her own living room with a small collection of handmade treasures. It was difficult to move the storefront to a new city, but at the time Ocean Springs was the best possible location to rebuild and it has proven to be the perfect place for the gallery to this day.
Hillyer House invites their customers, all artists, and the public to celebrate this important milestone in business with them.