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November 12, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: Her shop a center of creativity

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I love it when women walk into the shop to get inspired,” Janet Metzger says.
We moved here from Texas for my husband’s job transfer and drew a 50-mile radius around D.C. We kept coming back to Warrenton because we really fell in love with Fauquier County. I post sunrise and sunset photos on Facebook from my back porch, and people all over the world comment on them.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Her business focuses on color and creativity.

Janet Metzger, owner of The Empty Nest on Warrenton’s Main Street, specializes in vintage and antique crafts and home décor.

“I love it when women walk into the shop to get inspired,” Ms. Metzger said.

Her inventory includes refurbished vintage, antique and select wholesale furniture, linens, lamps and more.

“When you buy something here, it is a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture,” she said.

The merchant fosters creativity and relaxation through her weekly in-store workshops where participants paint or decoupage furniture.

“Creating something with my hands makes me feel good and I hear that from customers all the time. I don’t think people in this day and age do enough working with their hands, making something.

“I get to play with antique linen and lace, German glass glitter, fabric and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®.”

Ms. Metzger's mother taught her how to sew and crochet at a young age.

She regards Fauquier County as paradise, but suggests Old Town needs more shops, an old fashioned bookstore and a bed-and-breakfast.

• Age
60

• Home
Warrenton

• Work
Owner of The Empty Nest. Opened on Main Street in July 2012. Previously located in the Fox Den Antique Mall for one year.

I’ve been a decorative painter since 1987.

• Why do you do the job?
Creating something with my hands makes me feel good, and I hear that from customers all the time. I don’t think people in this day and age do enough working with their hands, making something. My relationship with customers is like an Ethel and Lucy friendship . . . . I love when people come and just visit without buying things.

I get to play a lot. I get to play with antique linen and lace, German glass glitter, fabric and Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

We deal in creativity here. I love it when women walk into the shop to get inspired. I’ve had people come from Pennsylvania and Utah to meet me and see the store. They follow me on Facebook.

Customers come back here in the back and they see me making things and know where (items) come from. We pride ourselves in that. You can’t do that in a Macy’s.

I’ve met the nicest people being a shopkeeper. People pop in to say hi. That’s what I love about being a shop owner in a small town.

• Family
Husband, Bill, “Mr. Retired Secret Agent.” Two sons, Bill and Sean. My kids got their creativity from me.

• Education
Roosevelt High School in Hyde Park, N.Y., 1972. Houston Community College in Texas for a few years.

• Civic involvement
Member of the Fifth Street Coalition and the Greater Warrenton Chamber of Commerce.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 2000, fourteen years.

• Why do you live here?
We moved here from Texas for my husband’s job transfer and drew a 50-mile radius around D.C. We kept coming back to Warrenton because we really fell in love with Fauquier County. I post sunrise and sunset photos on Facebook from my back porch, and people all over the world comment on them.

• How do you describe this county?
I find it very calming and the scenery is definitely inspiring for me. It’s beautiful! It’s a nice balance of industry and farmland and mountains. We have a little bit of everything and all four seasons. People comment all the time and say to me do you live in heaven? There’s a lot to do here.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
No, not really. I think it’s pretty much perfect the way it is. I would add a really old-fashioned bookstore. I would love to see more retail stores in Old Town. We need a bed and breakfast in Old Town!

• What do you do for fun?
Knit, crochet, sew, paint. My husband and I love to go for a drive and see Civil War and other historical places like Appomattox.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
My own backyard. I’m surrounded by old estates, so it’s nice because it feels like the middle of nowhere. There is nothing but cows and pastures. I could sit out on my deck with a glass of Virginia wine and be in heaven watching the deer and fox. Any battlefield in Fauquier County.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope it’s the same. I really do. I hope we can learn a lesson from Loudoun and Fairfax. I hate leaving Fauquier County.

• Favorite TV show?
“Outlander” because I love historical shows and anything to do with Scotland, England or Ireland, and I love the costumes.

• Favorite movie?
“Love Actually”

• Favorite book?
“White Oleander” by Janet Finch.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Europe! Oxford and the Cotswold’s.

• Favorite food?
Any kind of comfort food. Meatloaf and mashed potatoes or beef stew.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
In the course of conversation, an old friend told me: If things aren’t happening in your life the way you want on your own time, you might not be ready. When you are ready, they will happen. It might not be the right time, but when it is, you will know.

Everything today is so instant and we have trouble waiting. Life isn’t like that. We have to wait!

• Who’s your hero and why?
My mom. I’m one of 11 children — the oldest, and she worked the whole time and kept a spotless house. She is 87 years old now and she is the one who I get all my creativity from. She taught me how to sew, crochet and she’s a great cook!

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
Definitely do some good with it and give it to some favorite charities for children. Provide some money for my sons and their future. Take some great vacations and buy a lake house.

>> Suggest a “Faces of Fauquier” profile subject

Do you know someone who lives in Fauquier County you would like to see in Faces of Fauquier? E-mail Cassandra Brown at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or Editor Lou Emerson at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Previous Faces of Fauquier:

• Pablo Teodoro bakes to build community.

• Community trails have become passion for retired VDOT engineer Bob Moore.


• Teresa Reynolds makes transition from butcher to museum director.

• After working in New York and Italy, Christine Fox moved home to open fashion boutique 25 years ago.

• Steve Lewis develops hunting reality show on Dish Network.

• Julia Trumbo grew up in the family grocery business.

• Tax preparer Renée Turner enjoys owning a business in Old Town Warrenton.

• ICU staff Carol Jones values patients’ trust.


• Wilson Sanabria grew up working in his family’s Warrenton restaurant and learning to box.

• One-man band Peter Fakoury quit 9-to-5 to learn from children.

• Liberty graduate Brittany Aubrey works in the smile business.

• Walmart cashier Lulu Baer loves to play violin and several community roles.

• In Sandra Alm, SPCA dogs have a loyal companion.

• St. James’ Episcopal new Rector Ben Maas appreciates community’s embrace

• Bicycles dominate work and play for Brian Larson.

• Teaching music therapy combines Abigail Newman’s passions.

• Brenda Rich leads volunteers who organize and run the Fauquier County Fair.

• 1st Sgt. Greg Harris stresses empathy in his job as a supervisor at the county detention center.


• Chuck Tippett challenges the “rich guy” stereotype about pilots.


• County government employee Surja Tamang previously worked as a Mt. Everest sherpa.

• Woody Isaac found his calling as a chef at age 16.

• Horses take Tommy Lee Jones all over the county.


• Retired nurse Angela Neal continues to volunteer in hospital ER.

• Gilmer Lee really knows high school sports in Fauquier.

• Stage remains central to Tim Bambara’s life journey.

• Bus driver Melissa Strain’s weekend job all about “fun.”


• Bartender Taylor Edgar has a pretty good standup routine.

• A nomad childhood led Paul Schmeling to start a moving company.


• Adam Lynch’s family owns café with local food focus and a special name.

• Patricia McMahon Rice turns passion for art into her livelihood.

• Cindy D’Ambro works as “director of first impressions” at LFCC.

• Ginger Hilleary leads local literacy organization.

• Farmers with groundhog problems call Rod Kirkpatrick.


• Horses “retire” to work with Jeanne Blackwell.

• Remington cattle farmer Doug Linton loves his home and work.

• Sports central to Robert Glascock’s life’s work.

• For Richard Mast, company ownership started with his summer work as a teenager.

• Bernice Simpson knows northern Fauquier back roads and the people who live along them.

• Eddie Payne has logged 38 years as a volunteer firefighter in Marshall.


• Stephanie Layton turns her lifelong passion for dance into her livelihood.


• Shawn LaRue matches children and adoptive families.


• Biker and psychology major Clif Stroud makes music in a big way.

• Becky Crouch greets lots of visitors.

• She helped blaze trail to equality for black teachers.


• Family and food come first for Marshall pizzeria employee.

• Rural “closeness” of Fauquier appeals to Kansas native

• A “spoke” in the wheel of preservation.

• His job dovetails with passion for hunting

• Veteran educator sees the potential in every child.

• His passions: Fixing cars and helping people


• Habitat ReStore volunteer appreciates Fauquier’s diversity.


• Dad’s example led to new career at Fauquier Hospital.

• He lives and works in a beautiful place.

• The Goldvein firehouse ranks as his favorite place.


• Pretty things everywhere she looks.

• Through scouting, he encourages girls to explore.

• One day, he might run the company.


• FISH volunteer likes to help others.

• She sees the community’s generosity.

• Cop patrols while most people sleep.


• Pastor a constant in Calverton.


• She keeps the courthouse spotless.


• He loves working working outdoors at the park.


• She sees “everyone” at Carousel

• Library assistant works in a “fun place"

• Hat lady sets up shop in Old Town Warrenton
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