by Rachel Petty 

The newest storefront in downtown Carthage has a fresh face but a familiar history.

Teresa’s Gifts, located at 330 Main Street North in Carthage, Tennessee, is a gift shop and tanning salon owned and operated by John W. Leftwich, Jr. and his wife Caroline.

For many years, the building was home to Step into the Past Antiques, an antique store owned by John’s mother Teresa Turner. 

When Teresa passed away in March 2018, John faced the choice between selling the store or continuing in his mother’s footsteps. Ultimately, his choice was obvious. When brainstorming ways to reinvent and bring a fresh perspective to his mother’s familiar shop, John decided to open Teresa’s Gifts.

The name “Teresa’s Gifts” holds special meaning for John for more than one reason. He could think of no better tribute to his mother than to name the shop after her, and the name also brings to mind Teresa’s selfless nature and generous heart, which she frequently expressed by giving gifts to the people she knew.

Teresa Turner’s picture hangs in a place of honor in the front of the store, where it serves as a constant reminder of the legacy that her son is stepping into.

Teresa’s Gifts first opened its doors in December 2019, following a three-week renovation that focused on striking a balance between trendy and historical. During the renovation, the space was modernized and updated, but the building’s original ceiling was lovingly restored as a nod to the unique history of downtown Carthage.

At Teresa’s Gifts, you can find a gift for every occasion and for every person on your list. Additionally, the back of the shop is home to several Ergoline tanning beds for top-quality tanning services.

The selection at Teresa’s Gifts is constantly evolving and changing, so be sure to stop in often! Store hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. 

You can reach the shop by phone at 615-588-1990 or by email at To book tanning appointments online, visit

With the opening of Teresa’s Gifts, John Leftwich, Jr. and his wife Caroline have struck a balance between old and new as they look to the future while keeping the memory of the past alive.

Be sure to follow Teresa’s Gifts on Facebook and visit them online at

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