Founder: Dr. Garlan Gudger
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.
Garlan Gudger JR.
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 19 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, and was recently elected State Senator in Alabama for District 4!
Heather joined the SA team as co-owner 16 years ago when she said "I do" to the love of her life! Heather stays busy with their two boys Garlan III (Tripp) and Pierce, while taking in rescue and, sometimes, stray animals. Right now, they provide a home for Chance (Labrador Retriever) and Cleo (German Shepherd). She keeps several plates in the air managing the office and bookkeeping duties for the business. In 2013, she started a non-profit charitable organization, SA323, to help the children enrolled in the Cullman City Primary School Head Start program. Garlan and Heather stay busy outside of work enjoying time with their boys while traveling and antiquing along the way!