Dianne and Tom Wood are familiar names in the business community of Thomson and surrounding counties, and now they are the new owners of Peacock Hill, an established floral, interior design and gift shop on the outskirts of Thomson.
The couple, who have been married for 47 years, officially acquired the business Friday with a buyout of former business partner Bonnie McCorkle.
Mrs. McCorkle recently retired after 18 years as a business partner of Mrs. Wood. Mrs. McCorkle's last day at Peacock Hill was Dec. 31.
Mrs. Wood and Mrs. McCorkle ventured into business with each other at Peacock Hill on April 1, 1993.
Times were not easy back then for Thomson's newest business partners, Mrs. Wood recalled during an interview Jan. 20.
"We actually went without a salary for the first five years," said Mrs. Wood. "We got hungry a few times, but fortunately our husbands were good providers and we made it through those tough times."
Mrs. Wood said she will always cherish her friendship and business partnership with Mrs. McCorkle.
"I'm going to miss her so much," said Mrs. Wood. "I already have."
Although now retired from the business, Mrs. McCorkle will not be a stranger in the local business community. She is now serving as the new president of the Thomson-McDuffie Chamber of Commerce.
"She's going to do a terrific job serving as our new chamber president," said Mrs. Wood.
When the two ladies owned Peacock Hill together, their lives paralleled many times.
"Both of us lost sons," Mrs. Wood said. "I knew when the Lord put us together as business partners that he did so with a reason. We had a lot of good times together and some sad times together, too."
Mrs. Wood's new partner is her husband, Tom. Mr. Wood is a retired civil service engineer at Fort Gordon.
"He's always been there to support and help me," said Mrs. Wood. "He's helped build wooden cabinets and helped us expand our business by 1,500 square feet seven years ago."
In addition to being one of the co-owners of Peacock Hill, Mr. Wood is the bookkeeper at the business, which is at 1729 Washington Road.
Another newcomer to the business is Gail Holt. The new floral designer has 33 years of experience.
"We're very excited to have Gail join us, and we look forward to many happy years together," said Mrs. Wood. "She does great work."
Peacock Hill offers interior design and floral arrangements for any occasion, including weddings, receptions and funerals. It also offers a wide variety of photographs, lamps and gifts for all sorts of occasions.
"We like to treat all of our customers like friends," said Mrs. Wood. "We don't pressure our customers. We simply welcome them and then tell them that if there's anything we can do to help them, just yell. We're very informal."
Mrs. Wood, a former local Girl Scout leader for 10 years and youth teacher at First United Methodist Church in Thomson, says God has richly blessed her.
"I owe all of the success I've ever had in business or will ever have to him," she said.
For more information about Peacock Hill, call (706) 595-6999.