Jennifer Davidson is dedicated to both at Local Thirty-Five
Jennifer Davidson opened Local Thirty-Five on May 4, 2016. The name Local Thirty-Five has a specific meaning: “local” represents the area artisans, and “thirty-five” stands for the business address of 35 Main Street. Clever and unique as the name is, the store provides an amazing array of artistic wares for community residents and visitors alike.
Davidson began working in the upholstery craft profession in 1996 while she balanced life with children and a military husband. “My business was mostly mobile and required me to be on the road, working on projects overnight,” shared Davidson. “I learned so much during that time.” Her husband, now retired from the Coast Guard, supported her along the way.
When her family moved to the area in 2006, she became a vendor in a few retail locations in Culpeper and Leesburg under the name of Newfangled Nana. Davidson performed a variety of jobs using her upholstery skills and talent. “My side business kept growing,” she said. The growth of her clientele presented her with the idea of opening her own location; one that was close to home.
When Local Thirty-Five opened, Empty Nest and Fabric Emporium were still open and were selling furniture and home decor items. Initially Davidson’s store may have been viewed as competition, but she did not see it that way: “I feel it was important to compliment what other merchants offered in town; not be in direct competition by marketing very similar items. We wanted to offer something different.”
This store was the compilation of Davidson’s love of art and craftsmanship. “Local Thirty-Five provides artists the opportunity to sell their items in a retail store,” she shared. Clothing is not offered, but a myriad of items welcome shoppers: handmade candles, wood carvings, beautiful wooden sailboats with string art creations, made-to-order signs, paintings (watercolor, acrylic, oil, and mixed medium), custom furniture, and beautifully hand-crafted and designed jewelry. “In the year and a half that I have been here, I’m beginning to get a sense of what our customers want,” she noted.
Robin Lutsky of The Nest Designs Jewelry Creations shared her experience as a consignor with Local Thirty-Five: “Jen is a wonderful, kind, and sweet person. She does everything she can to help artists. She is a good person and anyone who does business with her gets quality items.” Lutsky also mentioned that “if you’re an artist and living in this area, come in and see if you can sell your work. It’s so worth it.”
Consignor Maxine Hardy a custom sign artist and owner of Americana Woodworking & Design, shared, “Jen truly cares about the vendors. She wants to help us get our names out in the community. She also wants to learn about her clients and feel a connection to the shoppers.”
Vintage and antique items are also available for purchase. “This year, we are offering some new services and will be modifying displays to create staged areas to benefit our customers. We have even brought on Blanca Martinez to increase our upholstery offerings,” said Davidson.
Martinez is not new to the area and her artistic creations were often seen in the Empty Nest. She has 17 years of experience with upholstery and furniture creations – including painting and modifying the look of a piece of furniture. “Here [Local Thirty-Five] you get to see everything,” Martinez said of the art available in the store. “We like to help the clientele who frequented Empty Nest and Fabric Emporium,” shared Martinez. “My work was liked by many individuals when it was sold in the Empty Nest and I look forward to helping them again now.” Custom upholstery services, including non-toxic, organic materials, and furniture is available in the store, and Martinez is also offering clients decorating consulting services.
The strong focus on local art has engaged all who enter. “Patrons love the affordability of our items. Plus our art pieces make great gifts and travel well for those visiting from out of town looking to bring home something from this area,” explained Davidson. “I think this area is very artistic and people needed a venue to showcase their work. We are proud of what we have.” said Davidson. So, the next time you are on Main Street, stop in and see that Local Thirty-Five is truly about the art of our region; in all it’s creative forms. For more information about Local Thirty-Five, visit their Facebook page.
Some of the local artists displayed at Local Thirty-Five include:
Meadow Brook Farm – custom pillow and quilt inserts created from Clun Forest Sheep they raise on their farm.
Gary Lohman – painter who will sometimes sit outside the store and paint on suitable weather days. Work available includes originals (oil, acrylic, water), prints and notecards.
Robin Lutsky – custom jewelry designer offering gemstones, gold and sterling creations.
Jackie Yongue – local watercolor artist and cancer survivor.
Maxine Hardy – Artist specializing in creative sign art available throughout the store.
George Downs – our own town’s retired postmaster is an artisan that sells his custom wood furniture pieces.
Timothy Brown – wood and string artist who creates custom drift wood/string sailboats.
Lisa Burke – watercolor artist whose original artwork as well as prints are available.
And many others.