Mike and Terry Scott of Camden are tackling a new business venture.
However, many locals may already unknowingly be familiar with The Garden Gate Gallery and Frame Shop.
Mike purchased the business from Stoney Hilton, long-time Camden resident and owner of Hilton Artworks.
“I’m ecstatic about this opportunity,” Mike said, “Stoney has really taken me under his wing and taught me everything about the business.”
The Garden Gate is located on Broad Street across from the Kershaw County Library. Hilton Artworks was previously on Walnut Street.
“It’s a nice location,” Mike said.
His new business is tucked behind Greenleaf Villa with plenty of trees and plantlife to offer a hometown feel.
The goal, Mike said, is to eventually host gallery shows, possibly outdoors, and open a small cafe.
“We’re looking forward to growing and doing business with people in town,” he said.
The Garden Gate will offer the same services previously offered by Hilton Artworks, including custom framing (all done by hand) for portraits, memorabilia and shadowboxes along with photo editing.
In the gallery, Mike has some of his own photography on display as well as those of other artists.
The business deal came about earlier this year when Mike approached Stoney about learning to mat and frame his pictures.
“I had been thinking about retiring for a long time,” Stoney said. “And my reason? Well, I’m 80 years old and I’m ready to start my day without the structure of running my own business.”
While Stoney was teaching Mike the trade, he brought up the fact that he was considering retirement.
“I like photography, and I have really gotten into it lately,” Mike said. “I had an increasing amount of photos I wanted to do something with, but I didn’t know how. I saw it as a great opportunity.”
“Plus my wife was supportive,” he said.
The Garden Gate opened in October and Mike said they have optimistic plans of opening the cafe in the lobby by January.
Stoney owned and operated Hilton Artworks in Camden for the past 32 years.
“I would just like to thank everyone for their support over the years,” Stoney said. “It’s been a pleasure. I would also like to ask my customers to lend their support to Mike and Terry,”
Even though Mike has recently learned the trade, he’s confident he can provide the same level of service Stoney has in the past.
“I’m still learning the ropes,” Mike said about the framing business, “but the good thing is Sarah Oliver, a long-time employee of Stoney’s, will be staying with us.”
Mike also said his nephew, Ray Zilembo, an avid photographer and editing specialist, will be joining him.
The Garden Gate’s hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m or by appointment. For more information, call 425-9970.