What used to be a hobby — now turned business — of collecting and buying chairs has made Hartsfield a record holder since 2008.
Hartsfield’s chair collecting hobby began in 1991 when she was going to write an article. To get in the mood, she started browsing for chairs and doors.
“I kind of stumbled into this,” Hartsfield said. “I had no idea I was going to open a museum. I found so many interesting chairs then kept buying on the weekends and it grew into a large inventory.”
Throughout the three rooms in the exhibit, chairs designed as teapots, cookie jars, lamps, bird houses, candle holders and several other items are displayed. Each chair is organized and grouped within a holiday theme.
A few of the most popular chairs displayed are in bottles, similar to ships in a bottle. Another one of the more popular on display is the chair made entirely out of old bottle caps.
“People ask me which chair is my favorite all the time and I almost want to say it’s like asking which one of your children do you like the best,” Hartsfield said. “It’s almost impossible to choose.”
Although it was difficult, Hartsfield mentioned the Christmas tree decorated with more than 100 different chair ornaments as one of her favorites. For every letter of the alphabet there is a chair in her gallery, she said.
After tallying 3,000 chairs, Hartsfield has lost count. She sold many and is constantly buying new ones for the gallery. The inexpensive chairs range from about $5 to $50. The one regular-sized chair is decorated with the famous cartoon character Betty Boop and is one of the few chairs not for sale.
The gallery, in the historic Stone Mountain Village, is open Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 5 to 12. The gallery is unique to the area and is something people have never seen before, Hartsfield said.