Lately, we have been getting a lot of questions about what the name “Alma” means to us.

All of our products with Alma labels are items we design and make! Items made by an Alma!

Carlene Alma & Betsy Alma

Carlene Alma & Betsy Alma

And now that these items are beginning to pop up in shops around the country we thought it would be a great time to share a little history.

So who is Alma?

The family name started with my mother’s Grandma Alma. That name was then passed down to my mom, Carlene Alma.

She named me Betsy Alma, and I now have a 5 year old daughter named Charlie Alma.

Growing up, I never appreciated my name the way I do now. Looking back, I absolutely love being named after my mom. Her dad, my grandfather, is one of my favorite people, one whom I was lucky enough to have in my life, one of my role models and heroes.

Grandpa

Grandpa

I spent a lot of my childhood with him, hearing him call me Little Alma and my mom Big Alma. As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my first baby girl, I knew I wanted my own little Alma.

Because my grandfather is the main reason we are in the business we are, we knew we wanted to carry on his legacy – naming our brand Alma was a perfect way to do that.

 

 

Another reason it is so perfect? Alma means “soul.” We truly put our heart and soul into our business and the products we hand make.

Carlene Alma

Carlene Alma

How did we get started?

What can be said, other than that it runs in the family! My mom grew up in an old massive lodge building filled with antiques that her father, my grandpa, the late Carl Nickell collected over 40 years. Frequenting auctions, Grandpa bought and loved thousands of pieces, some of which he would occasionally part with…most of which he would just hoard and appreciate. Our family was literally surrounded by antiques. After he passed away in 2003, our families love for vintage and antiques didn’t stop.  My mom started selling items on ebay and that quickly led to getting a booth in our friends antique store. About this time, I was graduating from OSU with a degree in Biology and planning on pursuing my nursing degree when….as my mom always says, I was “bit by the bug!” After wanting my college apartments to be cute and having no money, I was forced to find old pieces and make them new again and I fell in love! Shortly after graduation, mom and I decided to set up at the Springfield Antique Show and Flea Market Extravaganza.

We spent the summer of 2009, finding amazing old pieces with tons of character that needed a little love….there is nothing some paint and new fabric can’t do! During this time we had discussed someday opening a shop, but after the amazing responses we received at the flea market from our customers we began to look for retail space in Columbus. Less than 2 months after the flea market, we signed a lease at our first retail space and Old World New Home was born! As our store evolved, we wanted to offer our customers one of a kind items that you couldn’t find in other shops. What started as a few pillows and soaps, quickly turned into our main sales. So we added to our lines-handmade soaps turned into Alma Apothecary and branched into natural laundry products and home fragrances, a few pillows turned into 20+ signature designs. Eventually after 9 years of owning our beautiful little shop, we had to restructure and make more time for this little venture that is now The Alma Company. We moved our shop around the corner into Country Hearth Primitives Antique Mall. Their hours are so convenient for our customers and it frees up our time to help build and support our new venture.   Alma products are now available in 20+ stores in the US and more to come!

You can shop online or find your closest Alma Retailer!