One area couple is trying to bring a little whimsy to Alma.

Marcie Dean and her husband Scott Dean opened Whimsical Designs by Marcie on U.S. 71 in Alma on Jan. 21. The shop offers renovated and redone antiques, unique brands, and custom home decor.

Marcie Dean also offers chalk paint classes.

“She is the sole proprietor,” Scott Dean said. “I’m her advisor.”

Marcie Dean has had a shop on Etsy, an online seller, for about five years and had booths at events, but has dreamed of opening her own physical shop, she said.

The couple also enjoy renovating or redoing old and antique furniture, and have been “tinkering around with stuff” for 10 years, Scott Dean said. They decided to combine their interests in one store, Marcie Dean said.

“We’re trying to offer things that you don’t have to go to Fayetteville or Fort Smith to get - there are lines in here that only we carry,” Scott Dean said.

Included in the store’s stock is Premier Prints fabrics - which also can be special ordered through the store; specialized, high quality chalk paint; and Maison Chic and custom baby gifts.

Scott Dean originally is from Alma and played football for the high school, but mostly has lived away from the area since going to college and then joining the Navy at age 21, he said.

The couple met in Meridian, Miss., where Scott Dean had completed his naval training.

“We met in November and we were married in May,” Marcie Dean said.

Together with their children, the couple have traveled and lived all over the U.S. Marcie Dean has worked in multiple fields - from real estate, to dental assistance, to substitute teaching, to pediatrics, she said.

“With him being in the Navy, you jump around and do different things. You do whatever will fit into your family life,” Marcie Scott said. “I have always enjoyed working with people.”

Scott Dean retired from the Navy about 10 years ago and went to work in chemical plants, he said. He became a petrochemical consultant, and while he still has to travel for work he also is able to work from home - allowing his family to stay in one place.

About two years ago, the couple decided to move back to Scott Dean’s hometown of Alma to be closer to his family, they said. The Deans’ daughter was already married, but Scott Dean wanted his son to get to know his family, he said.

“The one thing I thought was important for my son was to be near his grandparents,” Scott Dean said.

It was after the move that the couple decided to open the store in Alma, the couple said - adding that they love the city and its people. Their extended family helped get the store in condition for opening, Marcie Dean said.

“It’s nice to be able to offer a store like this to people in Alma,” Marcie Dean said, “and hopefully they’ll support it.”

Store hours are Wednesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with paint classes by appointment at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesdays.