Southern Comfort

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bryant Smith stands near the register of his new store, Cotton Creek, which opened Thursday afternoon in downtown Troy.

Written by Whitley Kilcrease

Troy man expands business to offer stylish options for men

A new business with a “Southern, classy style” opened its doors to the public on Thursday in Troy.

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Cotton Creek Clothing, on East Court Square, celebrated its open house and gave Troy residents an opportunity to browse through the Southern-style merchandise.

“Today was just a soft opening,” Bryant Smith, the owner of Cotton Creek, said. “We’re running through the computer system and making sure everything works. We’ll start regular hours tomorrow.”

Smith, a Troy native, said he would shop at a store similar to Cotton Creek in high school whenever he needed attire for a wedding or banquet. Since it’s closure, he said there really hasn’t been another one like it in the area.

Smith describes Cotton Creek as his attempt to bring that kind of business back to Troy and keep residents from having to drive to Montgomery or Dothan for the same products.

“I noticed any time I needed a polo shirt or a nice button-down I would have to go out of town,” Smith said. “Troy needs something like this. I want to give the Troy people and Troy students something they want.”

Merchandise available includes apparel such as polo shirts, T-shirts and shorts. It also carries a variety of shoes, flip-flops, drink huggers, sunglass straps, hats, visors and more.

Cotton Creek carries many brand names associated with “southern traditional style,” such as Loggerhead Apparel, Guy Harvey, Coast Apparel and Southern Tide.

Colby Cryer, 18, from Birmingham, purchased several items from Cotton Creek Thursday, including a T-shirt, shorts and a bowtie.

“I just like the type of clothes,” Cryer said. “It’s classy. I’m in a fraternity so I’ll probably be back to buy more.”

Austin Adler, 18, from Troy, also described Cotton Creek as “classy” and purchased a Waters Bluff T-shirt, a brand recently launched by three Troy natives.

“I know Mr. Bryant and Mrs. Amy, so I wanted to come out today and support them,” Adler said. “I got the Waters Bluff shirt because it’s local too.”

Smith talked about expanding the merchandise to include more women’s products, as well as suits and sports jackets for men.

“We just wanted to open the doors and see the public’s reaction,” Smith said. “We were originally looking at men’s clothing in particular. But girls love the sweatshirts and T-shirts of these brands, so we’ll probably get a bigger selection for them.”

Sarah Beth Gilley, a Troy student from Dothan, also purchased merchandise from Cotton Creek Thursday.

“I decided to come see what they had,” Gilley said. “I like that my shirt is a Southern Proper brand but with Troy University colors,” Gilley said. “I heard they might be getting the Vineyard Vines brand too, so I’ll be back if they do. I love their T-shirts too.”

Kristy Drinkwater, creative director at Counterpart Brand and Design, contributed to the interior design, helping Smith achieve a rural, traditional look to complement the clothing.

“I took my vision to her,” Smith said. “We’ve spent the past 12 months hashing out the details and making this place a reality.”

The décor of Cotton Creek complements the Southern theme of the clothes, with creative cotton displays interspersed with antiques and store merchandise.

“We wanted the place to have a rustic kind of feel to it.” Smith said. “We’ve done a lot of renovating. We ripped the walls out and got it back to the original brick from the early 1900s. We also bought local antiques from places in Troy and Brundidge to decorate the place, like the Einstein lights.”

According to Smith, Cotton Creek is not only a way to give back to the community, but also to help out other local businesses. For the open house Thursday, Smith teamed up other businesses such as Sips on the Square and Momma Goldberg’s, offering customers coupons and discounts.

“It’s all about giving back,” Smith said. “We want to give something to Pike County they don’t have.”

Smith said Cotton Creek might host special events on weekends when the university football team plays at home, such as later hours, live music and snacks to get people out on the square and supporting the businesses.

“I just hope the people of Troy support us in this,” Smith said. “I have no doubt they will.”

For more information, call Cotton Creek at 566-1454 or visit online at