Fair Trade, Handmade and US-Made Fashion in Staunton

One of the best parts of a stroll down a funky, historic main street — like our Beverley Street — is the thrill of ducking into a little boutique and scoring unique clothing not to be found in the larger, national stores.

Love scoring cool, unusual fashions and looking to double down on that thrill of the find? Then come check out Staunton’s ethical fashion scene.

Not familiar with ethical fashion? This is a loose term used to describe clothing options that are focused on fair trade, local sourcing and handcrafted design and production. From local artists to international buying trips, Staunton offers an amazing breadth and depth of ethical fashion options for all.

Made in the USA

Made; By the People, For the People offers reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing. The boutique offers a wide array of styles from flirty dresses to locally printed T’s for both men and women.

We stopped by Made to talk with owner, Corrie Park “Our shop’s mission is not born of divisive politics or extreme nationalism, instead we aim to shed light on exactly why one can’t help but to feel great when making a purchase at our boutique: satisfaction in knowing your purchase directly helps to sustain the local economy; acknowledgement of the fellow citizens who have created a product that adds comfort and beauty to the day; an appreciation of the regulations that protect American workers from so many of the labor atrocities that occur abroad; and immense pleasure in realizing that the very nature of domestically produced goods results in a lower carbon footprint, and represents adherence to more stringent environmental laws than can be found in most exporting countries.”

Made
Made; seeks to fill the void by offering reasonably priced American made new and vintage clothing
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made in the US Vintage finds
Made
Locally made A-Line skirts from Queen City Sewing

In addition to American made clothing and locally handcrafted products, Made; is excited to be expanding their line up of monthly classes where locals can get in touch with their own creative sides. Check Facebook and Instagram for more information.

15 East Beverley Street  | Facebook

Local Artisan-Made Fashion

When we stopped by Artful Gifts, tucked in one end of the wharf, we found Lisa and Jim Jacenich working on a custom felting commission (a camouflage vest)  in their divine studio and showroom. The couple have been active in textile arts for 20 years, having started in Highland County before moving to their current location in Staunton.

Artful gifts specializes in using natural fibers, like wool and silk, to create the amazing felted fabrics they are known for. In addition to creating unique felts (available for purchase by the yard,) the couple creates unique embellished fashions using their custom fabrics as well as upcycled garments.

While Lisa focuses on the felt and design, Jim works in kumihimo, or Japanese braiding, to create belts and necklaces integrated with beads and hand-blown glass and jewelry.

Be sure to stop by Artful Gifts whenever you are looking for completely unique, one of a kind handcrafted fashion made right here in Staunton.

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6 Byers Street | Facebook

Fair Trade, Boutique Style

Latitudes Fair Trade takes the search for ethical fashion across our borders. Latitudes is a fair trade store that specializes in hand-made, artisanal goods from around the world. Owner, Anna Schoenduby, worked in international travel and education before trading in her corporate gig to focus on her passion – working to create positive economic relationships between American consumers and marginalized artisans from developing nations.

The fashions on display at Latitudes bring a modern flair to the fair trade scene, with vintage style fit’n’flare dresses in classic, feminine prints and classic geometric wrap dresses. We stopped by Latitudes to visit with Anna, where we learned about her upcoming trip to India where she’ll meet with the artisans who create some of the amazing clothing and accessories you’ll find at Latitudes.

Stop by and find the perfect party dress for you or as a gift!

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16 East Beverley Street | Facebook

 

 

Love is in the air in Staunton

Looking for a place to spend Valentines Day with your sweetie, spouse or BFF? Whether it’s a romantic evening or just hanging out for the afternoon, there are tons of options right in Staunton.

Special Tasting with Mike Lund Foods

Get the weekend started right with one of Mike Lund Food’s exclusive tasting menu dinners on Friday and Saturday night. Start out by mingling over Rappahannock River oysters and sparkling wine and settle in for a full table of offerings including truffled mac’n’ham’n’cheese, curried lobster soup and a dessert bar. Check out the menu here and don’t forget that reservations are required for this incredible event!mike lund food

835 Springhill Road | Facebook | For reservations info@mikelundfood.com

Southern Style Farm to Table in Four Courses

Looking for a romantic evening on historic Beverley Street? Zynodoa is planning three full nights of a four-course chef-tasting valentine’s-themed menu on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings. Share some heated looks and old-school (with a new twist) cocktails over crab cakes, pork belly and beef tenderloin. Be sure to make reservations and come early for a romantic stroll down Beverley.

zynodoa

115 East Beverley | Facebook | Event Information

A Bevy of Choices on Beverley!

Looking for more options? Ava Restaurant & Wine Bar is offering not one, not two, but three prix fixe options this Thursday through Sunday. Choose from a light three course dinner for two, or opt for a full night with five courses. With wine pairings for each level (but sparkling wine for all!) Ava is the place for lovers (and lovers of wine.) Looking for just a a bite and some people-watching? Stop by and choose from the appetizers and drinks menu for a tête-à-tête. Reservations required.

ava

103 West Beverley Street | Facebook | Event Information

Tiffany and Trivia

Not looking for a Valentine’s Day theme, but still want a fun day in Staunton with your sweetheart (or buddies?) then check out one of the best date ‘afternoons’ downtown! Start out at Trinity Episcopal Church, founded in 1746, and check out the collection of twelve Trinity windows and locally-made Taylor & Boody organ. Take a stroll around the lovely grounds and head across the street to George Bowers Grocery for a hot game of 80’s trivia, cold beer and local Polyface grass-fed burgers.

george bowers
from top right | Light streaming through the windows at George Bowers Grocery; trivia, 80’s style; cozy up for burger, beers and trivia; historic Trinity Church

George Bowers Grocery | 219 West Beverley Street | Facebook
Trinity Church | 214 West Beverley Street | Website

A Valentine’s Weekend at The Bistro

Don’t miss out on the Valentine’s Day (and weekend) fun at the Wharf. Chef Joey Sprouse has pulled together an amazing menu of oysters, prime rib and salmon for all you Wharf-loving lovers out there! Dinner service starts at 5 p.m. come for dinner and stick around for an evening of live music.

Friday, February 12 | William Walter & Company | 9:00pm – Midnight
Saturday, February 13 | Firecracker Jam Band | 9:00pm – Midnight

the bistro

 

Fun Things To Do In Staunton When It’s Chilly Outside

Looking for for something fun to do in Staunton when it’s not so fun being outside? We’ve got plenty of options to keep the whole family engaged when the weather’s not cooperating!

Live Glassblowing Classes and Demonstration

Sunspots Studios, a favorite destination for many of Staunton’s repeat visitors, offers an amazing opportunity to learn about the art of glassblowing. With daily live demonstrations until 4 p.m., come with the whole family and take advantage of the up-close and personal viewing area and watch one of the in-house artists create beautiful works of art.

sunspots studios

The gift shop and gallery is full of one-of-a kind home and garden glass treasures, artisan jewelry and handbags.

If you’re ready to jump in for hands-on fun, Sunspots offers a unique glassblowing class. Suitable for ages 7 and up, come and spend some time in the studio and create your own hand-blown glass ornament.

Call ahead for glassblowing demonstration and class times.

202 South Lewis Street | Facebook

Special Valentines Day Event At Sunspots Studios

Join Sunspots Studios for an exclusive Valentines Day event Wednesday, February 10, 2016 through Sunday, February 14, 2016.  Sunspots has new, special equipment to allow you and your Valentine to blow an ornament at the same time, locking your breath together forever! Get more information here.

A Picturesque Walk Through History

Tucked away in the heart of historic Staunton, the Camera Heritage Museum is packed full of over 4,500 cameras and accessories, covering the history of man’s fascination with recording the moments of our lives.

Leave behind selfie sticks and Snapchat and stop by the the museum to get a glimpse of 150 years of history seen through the lens of this amazing collection. Some of the featured items rare historical photographs, such as that taken by a camera on board a Japanese planes during the attack on Pearl Harbor, the personal photograph collection of the John Wilkes Booth family and a signed photograph of the Beatles performing on the Ed Sullivan show.

The collection includes vintage and modern examples of camera technology, as well as the work of regional photographers dating back to 1847 when Charles F. Hamilton was working with daguerreotypes right here in Staunton.

camera heritage museum

The Camera Heritage Museum is open to the public Monday – Friday 9 to 5, Saturdays 9-2. Tours are $5.

1 West Beverley Street | Facebook

A Haven For Textile Artists

Nestled in the Shenandoah Valley, Staunton is a natural gathering place for makers and crafters of all stripes. If you’re always on the lookout for a new local yarn shop or unique lengths of fabric, Staunton has just what you’re looking for.

Vintage bits, yarn treasure-trove and unique fiber arts

Tucked just a few blocks north of historic Beverley Street, Ragalia is a true find that will fill any crafter with glee. Judi Jones, proprietress, has spent decades as maker and shopkeeper. Visit Ragailia and hunt through piles of unusual fabrics, vintage clothing, notions, baskets of yarn and an eclectic collection of needles, cases and buttons. Judi, a maker herself, works in a variety of textiles and is always up for a chat while you check out her finished knitted garments, hooked rugs and felted projects.

ragalia
Clockwise from upper left | charming facade, a basketful of fiber, tons of unique textiles, embroidery and quilt hoops
Ragalia | 713 North Augusta | Facebook

A local yarn shop with a bit extra

My Yarn Stash is a new and welcome addition to downtown Staunton. Previously located in Monterey, Virginia, this cozy yarn shop boasts a wide offering of yarns, needles and notions, plus a back room of quilting fabrics. Curl up in one of the armchairs and check out the book selection while chatting with owners, Emily and Theresa Wagner.

If you’re lucky enough to live near Staunton, check out one of the knitting classes on the schedule. And if you’re just passing through, stop by and be sure to leave with a ball of yarn to remember your trip to Staunton!

yarn
Upper left | Emily Wagner, manager, My Yarn Stash
My Yarn Stash | 16 West Beverley Street | Facebook

Nineteen years and counting all the quilts!

Rachel’s Quilt Patch is celebrating 19 years of helping Staunton stay cozy with a wide selection of quilt fabrics and notions, along with gift items like soaps and a stash of embroidery and sewing thread.

Stop by Rachel’s and help with the celebration! On Saturdays in January get in on gift basket drawings by spending at least $19. Even if you miss out on the drawing, get a free fat quarter and shop pin with each $19 purchase. Anniversary festivities will wrap up on the 23rd as Rachel’s celebrates Local Quilt Shop Day, a national celebration. Stop by for refreshments, discounts and a one day sale on select bolts ($5 yard.) For more information on anniversary festivities, check out Facebook.

rachels quilt patch
Clockwise from upper left | The 3rd generation helps out with some sale signage to celebrate 19 years in business, lovely shop filled with wonderful fabrics, great selection of solids, shop kitty watches over the proceedings
Rachel’s Quilt Patch | 40 Middlebrook Avenue | Facebook

But that’s not all! There’s plenty more for crafters to check out while visiting Staunton.

Last Minute Christmas In Staunton

The days are ticking by ’till Santa hops down the chimney, but there’s still plenty of time for last minute shopping, date nights and family outings in Staunton! Whether your searching for the perfect stocking stuffer for the men in your life, looking for a girls night out or ready to pack the kids in the car and check out some holiday lights… Staunton’s the place to be!

Man-gifts for the men in your life…

While a lot of the following ideas will work for the men AND women in your lives, we know how tricky it can get to find fun stocking stuffers for hard-to-shop-men! So we brought along a vetting committee of one, enthusiastic husband who pointed out all the cool stuff he’d like to see under the tree Christmas morning.

Head outdoors… and get some history while you’re doing it!

Nestled, as it is, between the Blue Ridge and Appalachian Mountain chains, Staunton is home to plenty of outdoor enthusiasts as well as an amazing source for cool gear – Wilderness Adventure. We stopped by for a quick chat with the staff and then wandered around snapping a few photos for our gift ideas.

Not only is Wilderness Adventure a great place to find stocking stuffers – how’s wool socks in the stockings grab you? – but there’s also an amazing museum on the second floor filled with a collection of Virginia history ranging all the way back to the paleolithic era curated from the owner’s collection.

Wilderness Adventure
Wilderness Adventure is ready for Christmas!
Wilderness Adventure
Starting top left | Wool socks, guidebooks, camping accessories and the Wilderness Adventure museum of Virginia History

Wilderness Adventure Outfitters | 50 Middlebrook Avenue | Facebook

Books and music

Next up in the last-minute gift whirlwind is Black Swan Books and Music. This beautifully restored space is home to an eclectic collection of rare and used books and vinyl. Of particular interest to our personal-shopper-husband reference was the aisle of musical biographies right next to the vinyl collection. Black Swan is a great place to hang out, flipping through your potential book purchases, and if you’re looking for a great date night, be sure to follow them on Facebook and stop by during one of the many nights of live entertainment.

Black Swan
Black Swan rare books and music
From upper left | Cozy up on the sofa, an aisle of musical biographies, great vinyl selection, rare books
From upper left | Cozy up on the sofa, an aisle of musical biographies, rare books, great vinyl selection

Black Swan | 1 East Beverley | Facebook

Cigars and Fine Accouterments for Gentlemen

The Beverley Cigar store is a great place for gifts for the gentlemen in your life! From cigars and accessories, to canes, shoes, hats and more… There’s a lounge open to customers as well, so this makes a great resting place if part of your group wants to kick back and watch the scene on Staunton’s historic Beverley Street for a bit while you finish up your holiday shopping…

The Beverley Cigar Store
The Beverley Cigar Store
The Beverley Cigar Store
From top left | cigars, lighters, pipes and tobacco, cutting tools

Holiday Fun In Staunton

Whew! Done with your Christmas List and ready for some fun holiday bonding? We’ve got just the thing!

Celebration of Holiday Lights at Gypsy Hill Park

This long-running community light display transforms Staunton’s Gypsy Hill Park to a fairy land beginning every Thanksgiving through New Years. Over 214 acres of the park are filled with lighted displays best viewed from the car and free to the public.

Gypsy Hill Park
Photo courtesy of Justin T. Arthur | Facebook

Christmas at the Blackfriars

During the holidays, Staunton’s beloved Blackfriars Theater takes a delightful turn! For the traditional Christmas tale, check out Charles Dicken’s The Christmas Carol, a beloved yearly event. Looking for some Christmas laughs? Then make sure to go see Every Christmas Carol Ever Told (And Then Some!)

 

 

Hidden Gems in the Queen City

With a nickname like ‘Queen City’, visitors to Staunton can expect to unearth a hidden treasure of sparkles while whiling away the day soaking in a bit of history! From funky handmade bracelets to vintage finds, estate jewelry or high end bridal sets, our fair city is bursting with gems for every budget and taste!

History in the Making

Staunton is home to not one, but TWO traditional jewelry shops representing over 170 years of home-grown tradition.

Crown Jewelers (6 East Beverley) has been a mainstay since the 1960’s. The shop is home to a wide selection of bridal and new sparkles, gold, silver and watches as well as being a Premier Gold Dealer for Troll Beads. In addition to all the cool, new stuff, Crown Jewelers offers a wide selection of estate jewelry from platinum wedding bands to bracelets to pocket knives. Stop by for a free ring cleaning and ask about the monthly giveaway.

crown jewelers
Crown Jewelers

When you’re done checking out the estate offerings at Crown, head down the street to H.L. Lang and Co. Established in 1885, this old-school standby is dripping with history and charm – and an amazing original interior – coupled with new-school jewelry designs. Stop by and check out the hand-engraved work of co-owner Katie Spurlock; like custom Staunton charms or check out some of the new innovative lines brought in by Katie and her sister Alison Fitzgerald.

HL Lang
HL Lang

[Crown Jewelers | 6 East Beverley | Facebook]

[H.L. Lang | 11 West Beverley | Facebook]


An Artisan Collective

If funky, is more your style, we’ve got you covered. Staunton is home to a gang of talented artists who have joined forces at Pretty Pretty (110 East Beverley Street.) This cozy shop is tucked into a storefront and chock full of handmade pretties created from beads, minerals, vintage pieces and more. This is THE place to stop if you’re on the hunt for one-of-a-kind finds. For those close by, Pretty Pretty is on call for repairs on beaded jewelry and they are happy to keep a wish list on file to make gift buying easier for you or the loved ones in your life!

Pretty Pretty
Pretty Pretty

[Pretty Pretty | 110 East Beverley | Facebook]


Made in America

Passionate about buying local? So is the team at Made; A Modern Day General Store (15 East Beverley Street.) This shop boasts a wide selection of clothes, gifts and more – all sourced from materials and sources made primarily in the United States. If you’re looking to add to your jewelry hoard (or are buying a present for a sparkly-loving family member or friend) be sure to stop by Made; and check out the selection of home-grown earrings, bracelets and necklaces!

Made;
Made;

[Made; | 15 East Beverley | Facebook]

Hidden Gems
Where to find Staunton’s Hidden Gems

Staunton and Harrisonburg Featured in “The Local Palate” magazine! #LOVEstaunton

#LOVEstaunton
Sept/Oct 2015 issue of The Local Palate

Vintage and Upcycled Shopping in Downtown Staunton

From estate finds to antique treasures, Staunton is known as a destination for collectors. And in the past few years, our classic antique shops have been enhanced by a new crop of fun vintage and upcycled shops. Whether it’s retro fashion or funky furniture, we’ve got just what you’re looking for! 

Fashion Finds

Are you on the hunt for 70’s go-go boots, a 60’s sheath or perhaps a prairie-style petticoat from the 1880’s? Then your first stop should be Retro & Me (located at 17 East Beverley, 2nd floor.) Retro & Me is packed full of vintage frocks, trousers, tops, nighties, boots, heels, costume jewelry and a ginormous selection of deadstock sunnies (for you vintage newbies out there, dead stock is vintage gear that was never sold the first time around – it’s ‘new’ old stuff!) The shop takes up most of the 2nd floor of one of downtown Staunton’s lovely 19th century buildings.

Bonus!! On your way up to Retro & Me, take your time to check out the first floor, home of 17 E. Beverley Antiques. 17 is home to a classic antique shop, with a few vendors who specialize in estate and costume jewelry, fashions and a fine collection of mid-century pin-up artwork.

Retro and Me

Retro & Me | 17 East Beverley 2nd Floor | Facebook | Etsy

17 East Beverley Antiques | 17 East Beverley 1st Floor | Facebook

The Vintage Home

Staunton is a great destination for vintage and antique lovers on the hunt for fresh ‘new’ decor for their homes!

First up, just up the street from Retro & Me, check out The Staunton Antique Center. This is the go-to place in downtown Staunton for a classic, stuffed-to-the-gills destination filled with the perfect treasures to finish your home! Super easy to find, The Staunton Antiques Center is the one with the piano out front… if you’re lucky you might catch some of the local talent playing for the passersby!

If the shabby, mix-n-match vibe is your thing, then head down Beverley to Sweet P’s. Located in a vintage auto showroom, Sweet P’s offers an eclectic selection of furniture, accessories and a sweet, sweet candy counter.

Sweet P

 

The Staunton Antiques Center | 19 West Beverley Street | Facebook

Sweet P’s | 800 West Beverley Street | Facebook

Cool, Creative and Upcycled

Head back down Beverley Street and you’ll find a new addition to downtown Staunton, Cherish Every Moment. This shop, originally located in nearby Churchville, is a favorite of visitors and locals alike, having won Virginia Living’s 2015 Best Home Decor and Best Interior Design awards. Cherish Every Moment specializes in primitive and country style home décor with an amazing line of funky upcycled treasures such as old doors turned to tables and corner shelves or benches made from old beds. The shop is a family affair, with even the boys (ages 9 & 12) chipping in with their upcycled nightlights made from Vienna Sausage cans!

Upcycled Finds

Cherish Every Moment | 13 East Beverley | Facebook

Check out Vintage and Upcycled finds in Historic Downtown Staunton

Staunton Map

 

4 (and a half) Places to Shop for a Book Lover in Staunton

The holidays are almost here! Downtown Staunton is the perfect place to shop for your loved ones during the holiday season. Our quaint, walkable downtown, coupled with our friendly shopkeepers and delicious restaurants, offers a low-key, stress-free holiday shopping experience.

Black Swan Books by Allison Profeta
Black Swan Books by Allison Profeta

Our first in a series of downtown holiday shopping guides, here we’ll share with you four and a half stores where you can find the perfect gift for the bibliophiles you love. That’s right! Four and a half . . . because you may not know this, but Staunton has a secret aisle of books that most people may not know exists! Check it out:

  1. Get comfy at Black Swan Books: Located at 1 East Beverley Street, in downtown Staunton, Black Swan books offers a wide selection of mostly used books – general interest, as well as a focus on local authors, history, and art. Black Swan also offers a children’s section that features standard and collectible fare, as well as a music section with CD’s from local musicians and records from popular artists. Browse their art gallery, curl up in one of their cozy nooks, and enjoy watching the bustle of downtown Staunton go by their large picture windows. Gift certificates available.
  2. Browse Bookworks: Selling the latest bestsellers, as well as eclectic gifts, Bookworks is a fun, family friendly book
    Bookworks by Allison Profeta
    Bookworks by Allison Profeta

    store. Located at 101 West Beverley Street in downtown Staunton, you’ll find sections devoted to popular culture (Dr. Who fans take note!) as well as local history and authors. Owner Ron Ramsey also places special orders for customers. Gift certificates available.

  3. Discover Barrister Books: It looks a bit like a magical trip down Diagon Alley. Turn down narrow Barristers Row from either Augusta Street or New Street, and smack dab in the middle you will find Barrister Books. This bright, cozy book shop features an eclectic mix of old, used, and rare books, as well as local art. Gift certificates are available – and are provided on beautiful, old post cards!
  4. Play along with Pufferbellies Toys and Books: Across from Staunton’s historic Wharf District, at 15 W Johnson Street, you will find a children’s paradise! Lovingly curated by Susan and Erin Blanton, this mother/daughter team put to
    Pufferbellies Toys & Books Story Time
    Courtesy of Pufferbellies Toys & Books

    good use their experience as a children’s librarian and editor, respectively. Here you can discover the most popular children’s authors. From classics to the bestsellers list, their selection will guarantee you a choice to please the littlest readers on your list!

And a half . . . Love visiting a new place and feeling like a local? Here’s a secret only a Staunton expert would know! Visit Worthington Hardware, an old-fashioned antique store, at 26 West Beverley Street in downtown Staunton. Walk in the door and proceed straight back until you almost can’t go any further. Make a left, and walk until you cannot go any further. Turn left and you will find yourself in a secret book aisle! It’s dimly lit and quiet and feels a bit like you stepped into some sort of book Narnia! The shelves extend floor to ceiling and are stocked with a wide selection of used books that you can spend hours sorting through. A unique Staunton shopping experience!

This holiday season, visit downtown Staunton for a holiday shopping experience like no other!

Written and photographed by Allison Profeta of Staunton Insider

Queen City Fire Circus Lights Up Staunton

Queen City Fire CircusStaunton, Virginia proudly hosts thousands of artists in our city, both as residents and business owners. However, none light up the city as brightly as the Queen City Fire Circus performers. Formed about four years ago, the fire circus consists of a group of local performers who spin, throw, and swallow fire in their exciting performances throughout the city of Staunton.

Frequently performing in our famous downtown Wharf District parking lot, the Queen City Fire Circus delights audiences who gather around the lot to watch this well-known local spectacle. After lighting various objects aflame, they twirl and spin their way through the captive imaginations of the audience. Each performance varies a bit, and you can usually see them performing with a variety of flaming objects, including hula hoops and nun-chucks.

Performances combine elements of dance, acrobatics, and theatre and the performers themselves hail from a variety of backgrounds. With experience that ranges from color guard to marital arts experts, the Queen City Fire Circus Performers each bring a different flair to the their individual performances.

Staunton’s fire spinners have become a popular staple at our monthly downtown Fourth Friday Night vibes, evenings where performers roam the streets of downtown Staunton while businesses host special savings offers and events. In addition, you can frequently catch the Queen City Fire Circus performing at some of Staunton’s popular street fairs. They always bring an element of surprise and wonder to every performance!

Article written and photographed by Allison Profeta of Staunton Insider