Big News! Spirit Trail Studio is on the way!

This is huge! After nearly 14 years, I am moving my fiber arts business out of my home and into an actual, dedicated studio space. I’m so excited!! I’ll be located in the lower level of the original one-room Schoolhouse in Sperryville, VA, in beautiful Rappahannock County. I’ve partnered up with my friend Dabney, who is a fantastic felting artist, in a joint working studio and gallery / shop / classroom space.

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Rappahannock County, VA is at the base of the Shenandoah National Park’s Thornton Gap Entrance

When I started my business, my children were quite small (2 and 4). I made a conscious decision to work out of my house so I could be here with them. Fast forward almost 14 years, and we now have 16 and 18 year old teenagers. Our son, Jackson, graduated from high school this Spring and is planning to join the Marines early next year, as a musician. Our daughter, Caragh, will be a Junior in High School, was accepted into the Mountain Vista Governor’s School and also joined a travel soccer team. They’re busier than I am!

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The Sperryville Schoolhouse complex, located at the intersection of Routes 211 and 522 in Sperryville, VA. We’ll be in the little building on the right.

So, yeah. They don’t really need Mom to be here at home all the time anymore. And don’t even need me as a chauffeur all that often, either.

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The original one-room Sperryville schoolhouse (we’re on the lower level, entrance down the walkway on the left in the above photo). Upstairs is a beautiful gallery owned by a local artist for her amazing photography and other artwork.

I’ve been thinking more seriously about this potential move for at least the last 6 months, right around the time it sunk in that Jackson was graduating from high school and in the not-too-distant future we’d be empty nesters.

But, we live in a very rural area, and commercial space is not too abundant. Complicating matters, I really, really wanted my studio to be in Sperryville. It’s an awesome, vibrant (I might even call it hip!) town, and each season seems to bring some new and exciting endeavor to town (scroll down to the bottom for a listing of all the fun in Sperryville).

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Downtown Sperryville, VA

Around the same time I was thinking my thoughts, my friend Dabney, who is a fabulous felt artist, told me she would probably be looking for a new studio space, as our local River District Arts Center was potentially closing (very sadly, this has come to pass).  So we started talking about possibilities. And nothing really jelled until yesterday, when we talked about a vacant former cafe space in the lower level of the original one-room Sperryville schoolhouse, built in the 1920’s or 1930’s (I’m going to have to pay our local Historical Society a visit to get more info on our new home). I had never considered this location before, because it was way more space than I needed on my own.

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Our entrance, with lovely outdoor seating area. The Thornton River runs along behind our studio.

We popped over, and the layout is perfect for us. This building has so much personality and character. I’ve always loved old buildings, and the architectural details of this building make it quite a gem. It was still available, and although some other local artists and galleries were considering it, none had made a decision.

We quickly determined that it was a fantastic spot for us, and signed the deal this morning!

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The front room looking out onto our deck entrance, with lovely old wood flooring, big windows and lots of beautiful light.

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Another photo of the front room, with awesome built-in display shelving and more beautiful windows. And a semi-river view 🙂

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My studio space (yes, it looks somewhat rough at the moment, but I definitely don’t need a fancy space. Spackling, painting, a bigger sink and work tables and I’ll be all set!) 

My room is a nice size, with great light and enough space for all my various activities. I’ll have more storage space, which means I can do more wholesale and other business activities and opportunities that, up until now, I didn’t have the room to even consider. Yay!

Fun stuff in Sperryville, and nearby:

Before & After: wonderful locally-owned coffee shop and soon-to-open wine bar.
Central Coffee Roasters: fantastic locally-roasted coffees
Copper Fox Antiques
: fun antique store
Copper Fox Distillery: local whisky, gin & rye distillery. They know how to make great spirits!
Cottage Curator: our upstairs neighbor, an absolutely gorgeous gallery of photographer and gallery-owner Jackie Bailey Labovitz’s amazing flower photographs, which she prints on canvas (they look almost like paintings when you first see them), as well as paintings, ceramics and other featured artists.
Creekside Bakery and Deli: absolutely fantastic donuts, pies, and breads, great sandwiches
Flourish Root: beautiful flowers and gifts by my talented friend Jen
Glassworks Gallery: a really cool gift shop and gallery for handmade art & handblown glass by local artists
Haley Fine Art: fabulous art gallery featuring local and nationally-recognized artists
Headmaster’s Pub: relaxed pub atmosphere, lunch and dinner, live music on weekends
Heritage Hollow Farm Store: locally and ethically grown meats and other goodies
Hopkins Ordinary: beautiful B&B, micro-brewery
Knit Wit Yarn Shop & Cottage Shops: knitting supplies and fair-trade goods & gifts
Pen Druid: very cool micro-brewery using wild yeast fermentation
Rudy’s Pizza: the best pizza in Sperryville 🙂
Schoolhouse Antiques: beautiful antiques, rugs, and gifts
Schoolhouse Nine: 9 hole golf course
Sperryville Corner Store: country store which also has a great selection of wines, micro-beers, meats and gourmet foods
Sperryville Pottery: a lovely pottery studio and gift shop
Stonewall Abbey Yoga & Qigong: my friend Susan’s awesome yoga and qigong studio
Thornton River Grille: great dining inside and on their outdoor roof deck
Wild Roots Apothecary: amazing syrups (for some awesome craft cocktails 😀 ), teas, balms and other herbal goodies

Not to mention all the other wonderful spots around the rest of the County: vineyards, restaurants, more shops, The Inn at Little Washington (which has a farmer’s market starting on Sunday, July 2!), and the Rappahannock Artisan Trail.

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Our neighbor, Headmaster’s Pub at the Sperryville Schoolhouse complex (adjacent to Schoolhouse Antiques)

Writing all this down has made me even more amazed at everything we have out here in our lovely County. It’s such a fun area, and I’m so excited that I’ll soon be a studio destination, too!

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Our other neighbor, the lovely Schoolhouse Nine Golf Course

Next up for Dabney and I is painting and doing some other fix-up work, and then moving in and getting settled. This is going to be a big change for me (what?! I can’t dye in my pajamas anymore?!) (and … I’m only partially kidding about that).

Dabney has plans to hold a plethora of classes in felting and fiber arts. I am also considering adding dye workshops to my schedule, now that I’ll have a great place with plenty of room to hold them.

We hope to be fully settled in over the next month or two, open by chance or appointment for the foreseeable future. We’re planning a grand opening celebration and open house in early September. Stay tuned for more details!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Jennifer

coloring inside and outside the lines, all the time.
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20 Responses to Big News! Spirit Trail Studio is on the way!

  1. knittedblissjc says:

    that is so exciting, congratulations! that space looks amazing. What a great step!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Linda says:

    Congratulations to you both! This is so exciting and I am pleased that you are able to flex your wings.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Linda says:

    Congratulations!!! And best of luck in your new venture. It looks like a really nice place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. sloknitr says:

    Looks like a wonderful new adventure for you! I am already trying to figure out when I can visit this great area.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. stitchalong says:

    Congratulations!!! What an exciting new adventure with such awesome possibilities. Wishing you success and happiness in this new phase of your career and your life.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Kali Hamlin says:

    Congratulations! This is a great next step in your wonderful business!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Donna says:

    Wow, congratulations!! What an exciting new phase for you and your business. Best of luck to both of you in your new location!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. sophy0075 says:

    Congratulations! I’m a Virginia native (grew up in Richmond, lived in Loudoun/Fairfax, husband is from Staunton) and I know *exactly* where your shop is. Sperryville is a lovely town. 211 is much more fun to travel than the interstates. Best of luck in your new digs!

    And best of luck to your kids – Semper Fi and I hope your daughter’s soccer team has lots of victories. Congrats on her admission to the Governor’s School. Virginia has some of the best high schools in the nation, and the Governor’s School is among the tops.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks so much! Yes, Sperryville is so awesome, and gets better every day (just heard this morning about a new massage studio opening, and there’s also a new hair gallery / spa that’s opened recently as well).

      Like

  9. vi says:

    i have window and studio envy….especially that slop sink
    sniff

    vi

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alhbooks says:

    Congratulatins! Sounds like a fabulous move forward!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer says:

      Thanks! It’s a great move, although it’s a big change to how I’ve worked and lived for so many years. So that’s a bit daunting at this point, but I really feel it’s going to be awesome 😀

      Like

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