Marietta’s Glory Haus brings faith, family to home decor.
By Haisten Willis
“We love being a part of Marietta Square,” says owner and chief creative officer Molly Holm at Glory Haus. Glory Haus, a local home decor and gift company, has opened its first retail space in the Marietta Market in the new food court concept on the square. “It is fun to be part of something that has so much energy and that the community is so excited about,” she adds.
Glory Haus is an 11-year-old home decor and gift company that was founded in Marietta by four friends in hopes that they could create art that would bring the glory of God, hope and truth into peoples’ homes and lives, and that has been their mission from the very beginning.
“This new Glory Haus store is my mission field,” says Beverly McAfee, a cherished, 80-year-old Glory Haus employee, who gets excited every day that she gets to wake up and come work in the store. Beverly loves to greet customers and invest in people’s lives. On almost any day of the week, you can find her there happily engaging customers and sharing the glory of the Lord. Beverly says, “I can’t wait to wake up every single day to see who I will meet inside the store today.”
In addition to this new endeavor, Glory Haus is primarily a wholesale company, selling gifts and decor to more than 3,000 retail stores nationwide — from stores such as Nordstrom, Altar’d State, Ace Hardware stores and a myriad of unique boutiques across the country.
The Glory Haus corporate offices and warehouse are in an industrial park in Marietta. Most days, you will see Holm in the office, creating art, making sales, and helping get orders shipped out to customers. Most days, you can find Scooby, Holm’s 4-year-old Labradoodle quietly hanging out in the office. Scooby has quickly become the company mascot; he is loved by all the employees. Holm jokes, “He gets sad when he does not get to come to work!” He brings a bright spot to the office each and every day. Scooby is so well loved that Glory Haus decided to start a pet products collection in his honor. Some of his new items, such as the adorable bowtie dog collar, dog stockings, dog art, dog frames and dog ceramics, can be found at the retail store on the square.
Making Haus a Home
When the company was founded, the idea was to name it “Glory House,” but upon finding the name already taken, the founders chose the German word Haus, and have found it actually strengthens the brand by making it easier to find online. The concept is simple: “bringing the glory of the Lord from our haus to yours!”
Glory Haus carries a mission not only to create beautiful and meaningful products, but to create meaningful work for its employees. The company designs and manufactures its products not only in Marietta, but also in China and India.
Through the Daughters of Hope program, Glory Haus employs women from south Indian slums with no other options for employment and hires them to create fair trade home decor. They are brought into a loving community, paid a fair wage and even provided free meals, child care, and health insurance. “We now have over 140 women in India that we are helping transition out of dire situations in their life,” says Holm. They have discipleship each day and daycare for their kids. We are really proud of that.” The women in India manufacture all Glory Haus textiles such as tea towels, pillows, and table runners.
A similar program has been implemented locally in partnership with MUST Ministries. Glory Haus teamed up with MUST to bring women out of difficult situations and help them find employment through a factory that creates jewelry and leather goods.
With MUST, Glory Haus creates products that are “Repurposed on Purpose.” The company takes clothing donations that MUST wasn’t able to resell or reuse, such as shirts with holes in them, and turns the leftovers into new products. Glory Haus even picks up unclaimed clothes from area laundromats and is able to repurpose them into new designs.
“Molly has been very gracious to give back to the community,” says Glory Haus Creative Director, Leigh McAfee. “The community knows the products have a special meaning, and Glory Haus as a company is so supportive of the community.”
Both Holm and Leigh hold interior design degrees that they’re able to apply to their work with Glory Haus. Leigh recently returned from a two-week design trip to China, where she visited a factory manufacturing the company’s products. She says it was inspiring to engage with the Chinese family-owned factory who has a very involved owner, who treats his employees like family.
Yet another Glory Haus effort is Pickles with a Purpose, which was created by Holm’s son Luke at the age of nine. Following a chance encounter with a homeless man named Tim, Luke decided to help homelessness by selling sweet and spicy pickles made from his grandmother’s recipe.
“Luke talked to God about Tim and then came up with this great idea to help,” says Beverly. “Selling pickles is easy when you tell the Luke story and taste these delicious picked. People love the story and the pickles! I sell a lot of pickles.”
From Dream to Design
Glory Haus is proud to be from Marietta, says Holm, so they are thrilled to open the new Marietta Square Market store. The location is unbeatable — just off the Marietta square and inside a climate-controlled building — plus there is plenty of foot traffic thanks to nearby restaurants. Many customers, often out-of-town visitors, happen to stroll by and end up leaving with a new gift for a family member or friend. The store has proven to be one more effective space for Glory Haus to share its story.
“When we started our business, Amazon didn’t really exist as it is today,” says Holm. “It’s a challenge to keep up with the landscape of online marketing and sales versus running a brick-and-mortar store. A beautiful thing about the Marietta Square Market is it’s a continual destination spot. It has been a fabulous investment for us.”
In addition to their faith and their families, Glory Haus founders love college football! So somewhere in about the third year Glory Haus decided to create the collegiate line that their customers love! College products generate a lot of discussion and more than a bit of rivalry talk, but always — or at least usually — all in good fun. Holm supports the Texas Longhorns, while the McAfees proudly sport the red and black of the Georgia Bulldogs, but the Glory Haus team includes fans from major college programs across the South.
“I could probably work anywhere, but I choose to work at the Glory Haus store,” says Beverly. “Even at 80 years old, I’m probably one of the best sales associates. You have to have a passion for whatever it is you do, be it selling, designing, whatever. If you have a passion, you’ll make it. I think everything should have a purpose, and I certainly think Glory Haus has a purpose.”