Our Story

It all started in 1969 when Dr Garlan Gudger started rescuing architectural objects from buildings slated to be demolished in his local Community of Cullman Alabama. Not realizing his hidden desire of antique building materials would flourish into one of the largest stores in the nation, Dr. Gudger just consistently did what he enjoyed year after year - rescuing and restoring architectural salvage. Being ahead of his time, he knew the demand for his recycled material would not balance with the supply he was obtaining, so he started organizing the salvage into his 2 car garage. It didn't take long for word to spread of this "Garage Collection" and the quality of antiques that were showcased. People slowly started to congregate early every Saturday morning to see Dr.Gudger's treasures. Over time, he realized the interest of this industry was gaining momentum and opened a small shop in North Cullman. As always, his desire and years of hard work paid off as he began collecting notoriety for owning the premiere architectural salvage store in Alabama.

Next year, Dr.Gudger will be 75 years young and has accumulated more knowledge through his salvage experiences than most could fathom. Even though he isn't doing the physical labor of the demolition anymore, his expertise and understanding of the industry are still utilized at the store everyday by his Son, Garlan Jr. If you are lucky, you can catch Dr.Gudger at the store for a few hours a day to ask him a question or just to let him tell you a story of his adventures in salvaging. Although, catching him at the store is nearly impossible! He doesn't stay around long, because something new has taken precedence over his life long passion for architectural salvage! Something he refers to as his new passion, "Grand Children", he says smiling... Visit our You Tube page to hear Dr. Gudger talk a bit about how Southern Accents began.

Meet the Southern Accents Team

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques

Garlan & Heather Gudger - Owners

Garlan's earliest memories as a little boy are following his father around in muddy junkyards, antique, and salvage stores throughout the Southeast. What began as a part time hobby for his father has now turned into one of the largest Architectural Salvage businesses throughout the nation. Garlan has been the owner of Southern Accents for the past 14 years and has evolved from that little boy into a second generation self proclaimed "junk man". He enjoys utilizing his artistic ability, coupled with his years of hands-on experience of the salvage industry, to create a new life in the antique pieces he rescues by repurposing and restoring them. Garlan attended Samford University, later transferring to Auburn University where he pursued a degree in Building Science, graduating with a minor in Business. Garlan also has a love for his community and is currently serving his third term as City Council President.

Heather joined the SA team as co-owner 14 years ago when she said "I do" to the love of her life! Heather, who has stayed busy keeping up with their two boys Garlan III (Tripp) and Pierce, has recently taken a more active role in the day to day business operations. Not only does Heather manage the office and bookkeeping duties for the business, but in 2013 started a non-profit charitable organization, SA323, to help needy children in the community. Garlan and Heather stay busy outside of work enjoying time with their boys and enjoy traveling while antiquing along the way! Garlan and Heather are also one of the curators for Southern Makers. Read more about Garlan and Heather by visiting our BLOG.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesRoger Long - Restoration Shop

Roger has been our resident artisan for the past 11 years although ask him and he will tell you that it seems like an eternity! You can always find him in the wood shop, aka Mr. Roger's Neighborhood, covered in sawdust. Roger claims that he once won a free movie pass over the radio and is a self proclaimed crossword puzzle addict. Roger has been refining his woodworking skills for the past 41 years. He has been married to Doris for 44 years. They have two sons Michael and Mark, both happily married. Roger has served as a Deacon in his church for the past 32 years. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his three grandchildren, Caleb, Colin, and Abi. He also loves to spend time in the mountains and St. Simons Island in Georgia. Roger's favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31 and his favorite song is "I'd Rather Have Jesus" by George Beverly Shea. Read more about Roger on our BLOG.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesJosh Howe - Restoration Shop

Josh came to Southern Accents with an extensive background in granite, stone, ceramic and wood work. A gifted sculptor, Josh has always had a desire to create things with his hands and especially loves working with tools. He thoroughly enjoys the creative process and was drawn to Southern Accents because he believes in our mission to rescue, restore and protect architectural elements of historical significance. Josh specifically enjoys restoring old furniture and is fascinated with the history of architectural pieces. Josh holds a Bachelor of Fine Art degree from the University of Montevallo with a concentration in sculpture. He and his wife, Amber, have a daughter, Vesta and son, Sylas. When not spending time with his family you can find Josh in his wood shop working on the lathe or with a multitude of other mediums creating works of art for JAH Woodworks. Josh is always interested in learning a new approach to an old method. As a hobby, Josh enjoys restoring old tools or creating one of a kind tools for a specific purpose. There aren't many challenges Josh will shy away from and he truly believes that with an open mind and self confidence anyone can do anything! Visit our YouTube page to view Josh's VIDEO.

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques John Rodriguez - Architect/Wood Showroom

John has been working with Southern Accents for the past couple of years as our in house architect. Originally from Colombia, John moved to the Cullman area several years ago and resides with his wife Rebecca and their two young children. John has been working with Garlan to develop our documentation process for many of our salvage projects. John loves spending time outdoors and enjoys a good game of tennis in his spare time. John manages our wood showroom on 250 Janeway Drive. You can visit with John, who is very knowledgeable about reclaimed wood, at the wood showroom Tuesday - Saturday during regular business hours. CLICK HERE to hear John talk about about his role as an architect in our preservation through documentation efforts.

Southern Accents Architectural AntiquesRogelio Vasquez - Restoration Shop

Rogelio is our resident bachelor! He works as Roger's right hand man and spends most days in the wood shop stripping and sanding all our wood salvage items. Rogelio spends his nights working at one of the favorite local restaurants, Buena Vista. We're not sure that Rogelio has any spare time which may explain why he's still single!

Lisa Jones - Webmaster / Marketing / Photographer

Lisa has held the title of webmaster for Southern Accents since 1999. She currently manages our website, weekly newsletter, blog posts and social media accounts. Lisa and her husband Marvin have raised four children and recently welcomed their first grandbaby into the world! In addition to serving as photographer for Southern Accents, Lisa manages her own photography business, Lisa Jones Photography. While she has many interests, much of her spare time is spent pursuing her passion of photography. Read more about Lisa by visiting our BLOG. You can also visit our You Tube channel to hear Lisa talk about what it's like to work at Southern Accents.

Joy Barker - Sales

Joy, who is a lifelong Team SA member, officially returned to the showroom last year. Joy, who is Garlan's big sister, also grew up around the salvage business! Joy says that she was a "little momma" to Garlan all the way through their high school years and has a lot of fun stories to tell. Joy and her husband Brady have four gorgeous girls who are all heavily involved in school and sporting activities. Joy and Brady both practice cross fit each morning before work. Visit our showroom during the week and most days you will be greeted at the front by Joy who manages the showroom sales as well as keeps little brother on track!

Southern Accents Architectural Antiques Sandy Brown - Special Events Coordinator

Ask Sandy what she does for fun during her off time and she will tell you that she works at Southern Accents! Sandy is a full time practice administrator for a local physician's office. Sandy spends her off days at Southern Accents helping out with special events as well as working showroom sales on Saturdays. Sandy is very detail oriented and loves interacting with customers, helping them choose just the right pieces for their home or special project. Sandy is an avid runner and has been married to her husband Dennis for 20 years.