Brittany Dixon. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News
Brittany Dixon. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

Grandmother inspired woman’s love of heirlooms

When she was growing up, Brittany Henry Dixon spent her weekends at her grandmother’s Montclair home in west Augusta.

The widow of a military intelligence officer, Bebe Henry collected items from the couple’s travels in Europe and Asia and decorated her home with them, igniting the imagination of a young Dixon who saw her grandmother’s parlor as her own Parisian apartment.

Brittany Dixon in her heirloom garden. Charmain Z. Brackett/Augusta Good News

 “I would take the crystals out of her chandelier and put them in my ears as earrings,” said Dixon, whose love of vintage and heirlooms was born and nurtured in her grandmother’s home and has spilled into every area of her life from her business, Bebe Fine Vintage named after her grandmother, to her garden.

 If she wasn’t in her make-believe apartment, which was filled with the most beautiful and unique pieces she’d ever seen, Dixon was hard at work in her grandmother’s flower garden. And Dixon said they did work hard.

All of that has influenced where she is today.

“My main thing and this kind of ties into business too is heirloom – heirloom jewelry, heirloom seed. Something you can pass down to someone and give as a gift or buy it one time, and you don’t have to keep rebuying it,” she said.

In her garden, she has an array of flowers and vegetables. This year, she’s mainly replanted from seeds she’s harvested from previous years or received via seed swaps with friends.

She’s also experimented with different gardening techniques to avoid the use of pesticides.

“I did a lot of companion planting because I was having a lot of squash bugs and others,” she said. “I planted zinnias and marigolds all over. Not only are they pretty and attract pollinators but I can also deter other things from eating the vegetables.”

She also has the heirloom seeds on her website, and she gives those away.

Her vintage business was born from her own personal jewelry collection.

Bebe Henry, Brittany Dixon’s grandmother. Photo courtesy. Brittany Dixon

“I overbought a ton of jewelry.  My collection got too big. I wanted to rotate my collection, so I thought ‘why don’t I sell some to buy new jewelry?’

A lot of brides turn to her for the perfect piece their “something old.”

“It’s fun to track down certain vintage brands,” she said.

One sought-after brand is Albert Weiss. But she has to be careful because there are many vintage reproductions on the market, she said.

Dixon said the hours fly by when she’s on the hunt for jewelry or working on another aspect of her business.

“It’s fun. It doesn’t feel like work,” she said.

Dixon has a pop-up event planned for June 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Earth Pantry.

Charmain Z. Brackett, the publisher of Augusta Good News and Inspiring: Women of Augusta, has covered Augusta’s news for more than 35 years and is a Georgia Press Association award winner. Reach her at Sign up for the newsletter here.

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