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Don Boutz, Founder/Co-Owner of the Store

Don Boutz


Donavon Boutz was born into a renowned family of German-American Glassbowers. Trained at an early age in the same technical excellence and sensitivity to color as his great uncle and father, Donavon gracefully blends an old world family style and a contemporary aesthetic. The wide range of Don's styles stretch from classical stemware to works incorporating animal and human forms. Chalices encrusted with jewel-like surfaces with lattaccino stems are fit for royalty or anyone who desires to be. These lampwork pieces are widely collected and exhibited in museums and galleries; including the Renwick Gallery Smithsonian Institution, Corning Museum of Glass, and The Lobmeyr Galleries, Vienna, Austria.

Fun Fact: Don is a 30 year retired Army Colonel.

Suzan Benzle' Boutz

Co-Owner/General Manager

Pattern, color, and light have always touched the senses of artist Suzan Benzle Boutz. For 15 years she devoted herself to working in fine inlaid porcelain using intricate and delicate patterns enhanced by light. 

It is only natural that an artist so in love with light and transparent color should later choose to explore glass. In 1998 she met Don Boutz, Chattanooga glass blower and owner of Sweetly Southern.

Mr. Boutz trained Suzan in his family glass working techniques and they worked together for 10 years making a variety of beautiful glass accessories. Don and Suzan have been married for over 20 years and operate the oldest and largest gift shop in Chattanooga.

Fun Fact: Suzan and her son Kyle were held in a Belizean jail overnight due to a misunderstanding. They were able to leave because of help from two armed expats and a great travel agent. 

Portrait of Smiling Woman

Leigh Anne Lockhart

Storefront Manager/Bookkeeper

Leigh Anne has proudly worked at Sweetly Southern for 7 years.

Fun Fact: She was in a commercial when she was a little girl. She was scouted at a grocery store with her grandmother. 

Dina LeRoy

Sales Associate

Dina loves working at Sweetly Southern. She lives in downtown Chattanooga and enjoys the bussle of the city. She has spent most of her life teaching and loves to educate our visitors on the sites and history that surrounds our venue. 

Fun Fact: She has lived in 3 countries. 


Steven Rathbone

Custodian/Stockroom Associate

Dr. Steven Rathbone retired from the Sports Medical field and settled in the Tennessee Valley for its charm and nature parks. He brings a positive, and friendly attitude with him everywhere. We are lucky to have him as an important part of our team and grateful for his humor and kindness. 

Fun Fact: He was the Athletic trainer for the 86' TN Ocoee Olympics.

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