Owner of Travis Jean Emporium and Travis Jean Condominiums
What is your connection to Central Georgia?
I was born in Macon, Georgia. I went away in 1974 to live in New Orleans, Louisiana and I returned 40 years later and now, Macon, Georgia is my new home.
What did you do in New Orleans for that long?
I worked for IBM Corporation, I sold commercial real estate, I opened an antique shop and did some of the antique shows. I’ve had a very fulfilling and exciting life.
What have you done since you’ve moved back to Macon?
I moved back to Macon and I wanted a gallery or a shop on Cherry Street, so I bought property on Cherry Street and the shop that we have now called the Travis Jean Emporium is a group of antiques and gifts and art, and I feel like we have something for everyone.
Who/what is the biggest influence in your life?
When I was in New Orleans, I met a man who influenced my getting into antiques and then, falling in love with Louisiana art and Newcomb pottery and that changed my life. So, I would have to say that one individual, and that changed my life through the change of interest that I had.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned (or advice) that you’d like to share with others?
You know, we think we have so much to tell everybody else, but we have to learn to listen. And often times, I’ll walk outside of the gallery and just talk to people on the street and one day, I talked to someone who had come her from Florida because they grew up here, and they wanted to see what had happened in downtown Macon. At the end of the conversation, I had not only traveled down memory lane, but I had learned more from her than she learned from me. So, I think listening has been the greatest thing for me to learn in life.
Life-changing/significant moment in your life?
Every time I feel like I want to give to someone, I find that I get more in return, and recently, I worked with the Georgia Industrial Children’s Home and we had a “Night in the City” dinner for the group of young men and it was beautiful to see all of the young men dressed up with their bow ties and their ties an what I felt like I had given to them, they gave me back twice as much, and their love and respect and their comments to me on how much they appreciated it. So, I think the Lord is right, it’s returned 100 times over.
What are your hobbies/what do you do in your free time?
I like to read, I like to work, and I like walking around and eating out in downtown Macon. I am a downtown Macon supporter.