Community rallies behind shop owner through pandemic hardships

Ginger Pigg (left) works with Amy Boone at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. Ginger opened up her gift shop near Lake Lanier in March 2020. She was open for three days before the initial COVID shutdown. Starting a new business has come with many struggles, but she loves this newfound career and is grateful for the support of her community.  PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

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Ginger Pigg (left) works with Amy Boone at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. Ginger opened up her gift shop near Lake Lanier in March 2020. She was open for three days before the initial COVID shutdown. Starting a new business has come with many struggles, but she loves this newfound career and is grateful for the support of her community. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

When Ginger Pigg took a leap, she never imagined she’d be jumping hurdles, too. Now, two years into owning her gift shop, The Perfect Pigg, she’s proven her resilience, found her stride, and, best of all, she’s found her people.

After teaching early education for 25 years, Pigg retired at the age of 48 in 2019. She and her husband of 28 years, Dennis, moved to Lake Lanier and began their new life as empty nesters.

“I decided I wouldn’t do much of anything for a year, just float and enjoy life,” said Pigg, of Cumming. “But it was hard not doing anything, and I started getting an itch for something more.”

Pigg had always loved shopping and decorating. Over the years, friends had suggested she decorate professionally or open a store.

In January 2020, Pigg’s friend told her about a store that was closing. She suggested Pigg buy it.

“I was a bit of a chicken and decided to just send a message to the store owner on Facebook,” said Pigg. “They replied quickly, I asked all kinds of questions, then everything just seemed to fall into place. I knew I wanted it to be a mix of gifts and antiques. A friend of mine in the antique business sold me some of her inventory, then I went to Gift Mart in Atlanta, purchased a ton of stuff, and learned everything as I went along.”

She opened her eponymous shop, which is an old house, built between the 1940s and 1960s, on March 10, 2020 — never imagining the hardships or the kindnesses that were in store.

Pigg outfitted each room with a theme. There’s a den with a fireplace where Pigg sells seasonal items and teaches people how to create mantle and table displays. There’s a room for lake-themed and collegiate gifts, a room for wedding and baby gifts, and a room for kitchen items such as honey and serving pieces.

“I live just down the road and was very excited for opening day,” said Amy Boone, a frequent shopper at The Perfect Pigg. “This area really needed a store like hers. We have plenty of chains, but I was so happy to have a new local business.”

The store was filled with giddy shoppers for the first three days after it opened, then everything came to an abrupt stop. The governor put the state on lockdown because of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I called the sheriff’s department to see what I was even allowed to do,” Pigg said. “I couldn’t let people in the store, but I could offer porch pickups. I started doing Facebook lives every day to sell items. That kept me alive the month of April.”

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Ginger Pigg reopened her shop in early May, and the community rallied around her. They made a great showing for Mother’s Day, and many expressed their gratitude for being able to shop locally. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Ginger Pigg reopened her shop in early May, and the community rallied around her. They made a great showing for Mother’s Day, and many expressed their gratitude for being able to shop locally. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

caption arrowCaption
Ginger Pigg reopened her shop in early May, and the community rallied around her. They made a great showing for Mother’s Day, and many expressed their gratitude for being able to shop locally. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Pigg reopened her shop in early May, and the community rallied around her. They made a great showing for Mother’s Day, and many expressed their gratitude for being able to shop locally.

Pigg was excited for her first fall in the shop. The momentum was great. Then in October, a hurricane came through and caused a tree to fall on the shop, taking out two rooms. Pigg moved inventory into cars, under tables, and into her garage.

“2020, the year that would not end,” joked Pigg. “Then 2021 came and inventory didn’t. We couldn’t get items in. I couldn’t get anyone to work. It was rough. But it’s 2022, and I’m just going to say, ‘It’s gonna get better.’”

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Ginger Pigg (left) works with Amy Boone at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. Pigg says she has met many new people and calls her new friendships the most rewarding part of the job. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Ginger Pigg (left) works with Amy Boone at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. Pigg says she has met many new people and calls her new friendships the most rewarding part of the job. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

caption arrowCaption
Ginger Pigg (left) works with Amy Boone at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. Pigg says she has met many new people and calls her new friendships the most rewarding part of the job. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner

Despite the hardships, Pigg said the jump into a new career has been worth it. She’s met many new people and calls her new friendships the most rewarding part of the job.

“One day an older gentleman stopped and wanted to pray for me. He still comes by once a month to buy honey,” said Pigg. “When the hurricane came, two men stopped by with a wet vac and helped me move furniture — all voluntarily. People brought water and pizza. Another lady brought a little pig to put in the yard outside the shop. The obstacles made me stronger and so did the people.”

Pigg showcases creations by local artists in her shop, including Amanda Lillie, who uses laser engraving to personalize items, such as charcuterie boards and cake pans.

“Ginger has such great enthusiasm for the community,” Lillie said. “She’s so energetic and bubbly, she’s come back stronger after every obstacle. I knew God was blessing her because she was faithful to his calling. I’ve been so impressed to see how well she’s handled adversity. Her attitude absolutely contributes to her success.”


If you would like to visit The Perfect Pigg, it is located at 6705 Little Mill Road, Cumming, GA 30041. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

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Shop owner Ginger Pigg (from left) shares a laugh with customers Lindsey Hansard and Geraldine Davies at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Shop owner Ginger Pigg (from left) shares a laugh with customers Lindsey Hansard and Geraldine Davies at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

caption arrowCaption
Shop owner Ginger Pigg (from left) shares a laugh with customers Lindsey Hansard and Geraldine Davies at The Perfect Pigg in Cumming. PHIL SKINNER FOR THE ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION.

Credit: Phil Skinner

Credit: Phil Skinner