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TV’s Bates Family moves warehouse for boutique into Rocky Top building

Three members of a Rocky Top family that has its own reality TV show have moved their women’s clothing boutique business into a part of a building next to a pizza place just off Interstate 75 in the town.

For now, the Bates Sisters Boutique is not open to the public, but the building is being used as a warehouse for the women’s line of clothing, and as a modeling photo-shoot location for the clothing featured in their online store.

The women are members of the family that stars in the UPtv cable channel show “Bringing Up Bates,” which begins its 10th season in a few weeks.

Two of the three are actually sisters — Erin Bates Paine and Carlin Bates Stewart — while the third, Whitney Bates, is the wife of their oldest sibling, Zachary Bates.

The Bates family on the TV show refers to Gil and Kelly Jo Bates and their 19 children — including Zachary, Erin, Carlin — as well as their grandchildren and the spouses of their children.

Most of them live in Rocky Top, where Gil Bates runs a tree service and Kelly Jo Bates is a full-time homemaker.

The three women involved in the boutique started the business out of one of their homes in 2019, and it has blossomed since then, said Zach Bates, who is a former Anderson County commissioner who also worked as an Anderson County sheriff’s deputy for 10 years.

Orders have become so robust that Zach and the three women decided to rent part of a building to use as a warehouse, and earlier this month they moved into the two vacant business spaces in the building that also houses Little Caesars Pizza at 301 Norris Freeway, next to the Dollar General store.

“It’s just a warehouse for now, but we’re looking at the possibility of opening a store there,” Zach Bates said. “But I don’t know if there’s enough support for a full-time boutique. We might open it for a special event once a month, or something like that. My wife and two sisters own it, and we’re using a little over 1,000 square feet. The business is all online now.

“It started in the back room in our house, when my wife and sisters were looking for something to do,” he said. “The new place is a great location, right off the interstate. But the coronavirus has slowed a lot of growth, and the population count there isn’t as high as other places like Clinton and Caryville. But I think if they keep trying, it will work out.”

“The Bates’ Sisters Boutique was born out of a vision that three sisters had to provide feminine and stylish apparel at a reasonable price,” says a description of the business on its website ( “We search and search for great finds that we know will please our customers and not break the bank.”

There is also a Facebook page for the boutique, which, like the website, features photos of the sisters and others modeling clothes sold on the site.

Zach Bates, 32, said he now works in his father’s tree business, as well as helping with the boutique. He is no longer a county commissioner or a full-time deputy sheriff.

He ran for Anderson County mayor in the 2014 Republican primary election, but lost to the current mayor, Terry Frank.