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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.


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. 

Evan Hessler

Web Master

Evan has worked on websites and computers/robots for over a decade. He loves fishing and biking the trails on Lookout Mountain and never fails to bring a fishing rod with him on a trip. He also loves a good video game with his friends and collects exotic pets.

Fun Fact: He has competed in multiple battle bot tournaments with robots he helped build and code.


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. 

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