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September 14, 2015

Faces of Fauquier: Her creativity becomes business

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“I love looking at the mountains here and trees,” Sherrie Carter says of her native county. “It’s almost like the air is different here.”
It just kind of evolved to this and it’s an opportunity to bring in things I like. I like inspirational stuff. When I do something, I go all out. It started with my mom, Eva. We were always doing something crafty with Mom growing up.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Creativity flourishes in the bright, open space.

Sherrie Carter, owner of Sherrie’s Stuff, moved her store to Warrenton’s Main Street three months ago.

An eclectic selection of home decorating items, jewelry, greeting cards, baskets, pillows, scarves and gifts adorn the shelves.

“I like inspirational stuff,” Mrs. Carter said. “When I do something, I go all out.”

The pillows and greeting cards incorporate her daughter Ashleigh’s designs.

Using acrylics and layers of colorful paper, Mrs. Carter hand paints birdhouse gourds and mixed media artwork for the store.

Growing up in a creative atmosphere, Mrs. Carter’s mother, the late Eva Walker, inspired her to continue pursing art as an adult.

After successfully selling her work at craft shows, Mrs. Carter’s hobby grew into a business and she decided to open her own store in 2011 in Old Town.

After previously leasing two other locations on Second and Fifth streets, Sherrie’s Stuff opened at 77 Main St. in June.

Duane Thompson owns the building, which previously housed Rhodes Drug Store for 28 years. The building over the years contained a variety of business services, including the pharmacy, an Orvis fly-fishing shop, a gift shop, medical equipment items and watch repair.

The pharmacy closed in fall 2005 but the space remained a gift shop.

In 2008, Amy’s at Rhodes, a new gift shop leased the space.

In December 2014, the space became vacant. Mr. Thompson spent four months cleaning and started looking for new tenants to bolster retailing on Main Street.

“We wanted to get retail in there…that was a must,” Mr. Thompson said. “Probably eight to 10 people contacted me who weren’t retail or wouldn’t fit the space well.”

He talked to Mrs. Carter and she agreed the space would give her greater visibility, with more “foot traffic.”

To make the plan work, Mr. Thompson found a new tenant, Walk by Faith, a Christian supply store, to take over Mrs. Carter’s lease on Fifth Street so she could move into his building.

“Sherrie was a perfect fit,” Mr. Thompson said. “Looking at her stuff, it’s really unique.”

Raised in Fauquier, Mrs. Carter loves the “clusters of businesses” and the countryside.

“I think it’s beautiful. I love driving up Route 211. I love looking at the mountains here and trees. It’s almost like the air is different here.”

• Age

• Home

• Work
Owner of Sherrie’s Stuff since 2011. The shop recently moved to 77 Main St. in Warrenton.

A friend introduced me to craft shows. I had never heard of a craft fair before. I built birdhouses and then I started painting snowmen flowerpots and selling those at craft fairs. I painted those day and night. Then I started renting a space in Buckland Market and other local places. I opened my store in spring 2011 until fall 2012 on Second Street. Then found a place on Fifth Street in 2012 until June 2015. Opened in the current location, in the old Rhodes Drug Store on June 6.

• Why do you do the job?
I used to paint when I was younger. Then I picked up painting and drawing again. I use to think about (having my own store), but never imagined it when I was younger. It just kind of evolved to this and it’s an opportunity to bring in things I like. I like inspirational stuff. When I do something, I go all out. It started with my mom, Eva. We were always doing something crafty with Mom growing up.

• Family
Husband, Gregory; daughters, Ashleigh and Britani; son, Evan, and grandson, Carter.

• Education
Studied psychology and social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, 1976 to 1980. Fauquier High School, 1976.

• Civic and/or church involvement
Member of Living Faith Church in Manassas.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
My entire life.

• Why do you live here?
Our family was growing so we moved back after living in McLean and Sterling. Then, in Warrenton, family houses were cheap and it’s a nice place to be.

• How do you describe this county?
I think it’s beautiful. I love driving up Route 211. I love looking at the mountains here and trees. It’s almost like the air is different here.

• What would you change about Fauquier?
I don’t think I would change anything. I like that you can just get in your car and drive somewhere. I like to drive.

• What do you do for fun?
Crafting and mixed media art. I go home and do more of what I do here. I’m an artist.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
I love driving on Route 211, Route 17 and I-66 towards Front Royal. I love looking at the mountains.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
If it’s going to grow, I hope they have clusters of businesses, but still have that feel of countryside. Any open land that is here; I hope it would stay the same. I definitely don’t want to be another Fairfax County.

• Favorite TV show?
Documentaries, historical stuff. The History Channel, “Andy Griffith” and “Fixer Upper.”

• Favorite movie?
“Places in the Heart”

• Favorite book?
A lot of my reading is focused around family history. I have been researching my family history since the ’90s. I like craft and how-to books.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Charlotte, N.C.

• Favorite food?
Seafood, crabs.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?
Nobody is better than anybody else. That’s my take on the Golden Rule.
Learned that from parents.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents, Robert and Eva Walker. My mother was creative and funny.
When she wanted to learn something new, she went all out. Once she bought a kiln.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?
I don’t even play the lottery. But if somebody gave me $1 million, I would tithe some to the church and help people in need.

Suggest a profile candidate

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:

• Starting her career, Liberty graduate Judy Heflin wants to be a great teacher.

• Social Services Director Jan Selbo has devoted her career to helping others.

• Jim Cirillo’s call to Casanova extended.

• Don’t tell Angela Deal, Ms. Wheelchair Fauquier, that she can’t do something.

• FHS graduate and business owner Cathy Dodson finds all she needs right here.

• Mike Harvey’s sweet work takes lots of sweat.

• Warrenton native Joan Williams still serving her community.

• Classic cars consume engineer Matt Innocenzi’s free time.

• Wood transformed in the hands of Edward Fox.

• Earl Arrington serves printing customers and his community.

• Michael Hughes wears music, threater and equestrian hats.

• Store in Goldvein part of Susan Leopold’s family legacy.

• County native Maggi MacQuilliam devoted to the great outdoors.

• Health care for the needy Rob Marino’s mission.

• Daphne Latimore focuses on human capital.

• Horses extend Louise Summers’ work as teacher.

• As volunteer coach, Jeff Budd develops young wrestlers.

• Fraces Allshouse’s jobs focus on preservation.

• Jessica Smolinski’s book introduces children to Old Town Warrenton.

• Margaret Rice’s job all about fitness and fun in Warrenton.

• Robert Sturgeon has built his 70-employee businesses in Bealeton from scratch.

• 4-H leader Zach Woodward relishes the lessons of farming.

• Hospital auxiliary volunteer Alison Lee also earned fame in drag racing circles.

• Highland School veteran staff member Lise Hicklin always wanted to teach.

• As 9-1-1 dispatcher, Kateland Rich works to maintain calm during crisis.

• Chaplain Liz Danielsen finds a giving community.

• 9-1-1 response in Rodney Woodward’s bloodline.

• Fast talk a tool of the trade for auctioneer Kathy Shumate.

• Sam Poles takes care of varmits.

• Diane King mentors student performers at Fresta Valley Christian School.

• Lewis F. Lee Jr. followed his father into taxidermy business.

• Edward Payne returns to Orlean and to photography with passion.

• Janet Metzger’s Old Town Warrenton shop a hub of creativity.

• 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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