Mary Carol Garrity established Nell Hill's in 1981 in an old bank building in her hometown of Atchison, Kansas, naming the store after her maternal grandmother who was an early Kansas pioneer. This landmark retail store has become legendary in the decorating world—more than ninety-five percent of Nell Hill’s patrons travel more than 100 miles to visit Mary Carol at her flagship store. Since its humble beginnings as a gourmet food shop, the Nell Hill’s stores have grown to include the original location and a sister store, Garrity’s Encore, in Atchison, Kansas, as well as the latest addition—the new Nell Hill’s at Briarcliff Village in Kansas City.
Over the past twenty-eight years, Mary Carol has garnered national attention with Forbes magazine dubbing her "one of the hottest little retailers" in America. Entrepreneur Mary Carol Garrity’s business savvy and designscapes have garnered national attention from CBS’s The Early Show, NBC’s Today shows, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Midwest Living, Country Living, Victoria, and many more. Mary Carol is known for her elegant, but practical tips on everything from holiday decorating to stylish ways to entertain at home, setting tables and displays that wow guests with their inspiration and affordability.
As one of today’s most sought-after lifestyle resources—with her own series of books, a column syndicated weekly throughout the U.S., a line of home accents carried by 750 stores, and custom paint colors—Mary Carol is always available to answer her customers’ questions and offer real-life decorating solutions. She encourages customers to bring pictures of the areas of the home that they are redecorating. She never forgets a face, thrives on meeting people, and is known to always rise to the challenge of helping her customers uncover their own style.
She has been a lifelong resident of Atchison, Kansas, where she grew up working in her parents’ retail clothing store. She and her husband, Dan Garrity, have raised a daughter in Atchison and have been active members of the community. In addition to giving back to the growth of their hometown, they have also worked hard to promote Kansas City as an important destination for visitors.