Sperryville column for Jan. 30

A Schoolhouse for retail

Recent weeks have borne yet another transformation of the Sperryville Schoolhouse and nearby businesses, turning this corner of U.S. 211 into a true destination. Coterie, Heritage Hollow Farms, Cliff Miller’s Schoolhouse Antiques and Headmaster’s Pub enjoy the continued partnership and professional camaraderie and business support of Antics and Antiques, plus Rebecca Abeccassis’ third Knit Wit incarnation. Rebecca and Jen Perrot, Molly Peterson, Donna LaPre, Fawn Evenson, Susan McCarthy and Becky Smith are a testament to the celebration of entrepreneurial, smart business women and their talented staff.

Antics and Antiques, rising from the ashes of Monkey Business, is owned and operated by Fawn Evenson. It is an antique furniture shop as well as an art gallery showcasing local artists such as Nancy Keyser, Benita Gowan, Joan Herrema, Ruthie Windsor Mann, Susan Dienelt and Nathan Jenkins. The sign on the entrance door is signature Fawn: “Prices have been pre-haggled for your convenience.”

I’ve known Fawn for many years; she was one of my favorite clients when she was the CEO of a national association based in Washington, D.C. She was, as she so charmingly shares with folks, my Murphy Brown. While traversing the world, she weekended here in our Washington. She quietly segued into antiquing and showed items at Rush River Antiques and Copper Fox, and has now morphed her passion into Antics and Antiques. Fawn is worldly and her taste discerning, as is evident by her choice of artisan wares and paintings.

Rebecca runs Knit Wit, now in an expanded space filled with yarns and wool items, whose mission is to inspire others to enjoy the knitting life. A feast of colorful yarns of alpaca, sheep, llamas, cotton, silk, cashmere and hemp — there are yarns made from recycled blue jeans and even bamboo. Lessons are offered and pre-made clothing is available for purchase, as well as scarves and shawls, warm sweaters and hats.

Across the way, Rebecca and Susan McCarthy are co-owners of Comfort Gift Shop. Both enterprises offer wares from around the world, including U.S. products and World Fair Trade Organization-sanctioned artisans, primarily from women-owned cooperatives. WFTO celebrates fair trade around the world for “marginalized artisans, farmers and small producers in some of the most fragile places on Earth.” Susan calls her store the “anti-mart,” meaning the anti-Target-like retail operation.

The wares are unique, whimsical and practical; soon tables and kitchenwares will be displayed for purchase as well. Gift certificates are available and one can enter into their database which also allows you to shop for friends by investigating their buying patterns, if they’ve purchased previously in the store. Thus a gift is truly one that is appreciated.

Rebecca states: “I am very excited to have the new space for Knit Wit and to be working with Susan and expanding on our offering of fair-trade and American-made products that support artisans and allow them to earn a fair wage for their work, and to support organizations that provides women with the skills needed to support themselves and their families.”

The best of luck to all of you.

Chris Green
About Chris Green 132 Articles

Chris Green (formerly Chris Doxzen) is an an executive recruiter by profession who enjoys exploring and writing about all things Rappahannock. Friends and neighbors with potential stories for her Sperryville column should email her at chrisdoxzen@gmail.com.