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October 15, 2014

Faces of Fauquier: Shop grew from fashion career

Photo/Cassandra Brown
“Warrenton has a clear sense of place,” Christine Fox says. “Fauquier County as a whole is very community-minded.”
When I went from retail to owning my own business, my father said it would be much more difficult and challenging than working for a corporation, but it would be much more rewarding. Because here, you are connected with your clients, but as a buyer, you are removed. This is a more personal investment.
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
The small shop in Old Town Warrenton reflects her fashion expertise.

Christine Fox, owner of the boutique that bears her name, focuses on selling unique, high-quality women’s clothing and handbags. Purchasing from designers who don’t sell at major stores, Christine Fox offers a limited number of garments in a variety of styles.

In September, Ms. Fox celebrated her 25th year in business.

Well-versed in fashion trends, she sells investment pieces from designers in Austria, Italy and New York.

Her interest in fashion developed when she got a job at Lord & Taylor while in college.

“I grew up thinking I would be a math teacher,” Ms. Fox said.

Experience with Saks Fifth Avenue in New York as a leather handbag buyer and with Guccio Gucci in Italy as a handbag consultant brings a unique perspective to her work as a small business owner.

“When I went from retail to owning my own business, my father said it would be much more difficult and challenging than working for a corporation, but it would be much more rewarding. Because here, you are connected with your clients, but as a buyer, you are removed. This is a more personal investment.”

A town resident, she enjoys the community atmosphere.

“Warrenton has a clear sense of place. Fauquier County as a whole is very community-minded. The Plains, Remington and all the other towns have specific elements of character,” she said.

• Age

• Home

• Work
Owner of the women’s clothing store, Christine Fox, in Old Town for 25 years. Previously worked for Guccio Gucci in Italy as a handbag consultant and at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York as a leather handbag buyer.

• Why do you do the job?

I really like helping people, and I enjoy seeing the happiness or satisfaction a customer has when they try something on and feel good about it.

People are on a mission when they come here to find clothes for a graduation, a christening or any special occasion. The customers who come here don’t regularly read a fashion magazine.

When I moved back from Italy, I finally decided to open a store. You’re part of a community here.

• Family

Mother, Harriet Fox; sisters, Ellen Fox Emerson, Laura Fox, Susan Scapier, and brother, John Fox.

• Education
Bachelor’s degree, European history, George Mason University, 1971. Studied at Sweet Briar College her freshman and junior years.

• Civic involvement

Previously involved in several community organizations.

• How long have you lived in Fauquier?
Since 1963, except for when I lived in Dallas and Italy. I moved back in 1990.

• Why do you live here?

It would be hard to get away. I live here for the community. It’s a wonderful community. We try to help educate people who come here. I think it’s wonderful that these families can develop that sense of community.

• How do you describe this county?
Warrenton has a clear sense of place. Fauquier County as a whole is very community-minded. The Plains, Remington and all the other towns have specific elements of character. It’s an idiosyncratic county. I love the Fourth of July and Christmas parades.

• What would you change about Fauquier?

I think . . . a movie theater. It would be so much better if we had a better mass transportation system. I wish we still had the train stop in the county. Putting in the sidewalks has been wonderful, and people love the Warrenton Branch Greenway.

• What do you do for fun?
I read, walk, swim. I love to cook and have dinner parties and go to the movies.

• What’s your favorite place in Fauquier?
My parent’s farm near Wildcat Mountain. I love anytime in Old Town. I love Main Street. I love all the colors of the seasons in the county.

• What will Fauquier be like in 10 years?
I hope it’s pretty much the same. I think we are very careful about our zoning. There will always be new businesses and aspects, but over the course of the past 25 years, we have had development and it has been measured. I think as long as elected officials are careful about planning, the county will flourish.

• Favorite TV show?

“NCIS,” “Wheel of Fortune” and “Jeopardy.”

• Favorite movie?
“To Kill a Mockingbird.”

• Favorite book?

“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee.

• Favorite vacation spot?
Tortola in the British Virgin Islands and Vero Beach in Florida.

• Favorite food?
I love salad and curry. I love to make salad and salad dressings with whatever is on hand.

• What is the best advice you have ever received? From whom?

My (late) father, Raymond, always said, “You get what you inspect, more than what you expect.”

Also: “Life is an entertainment and those who do not see it that way will not be entertained.”

He had good advice and always with humor.

• Who’s your hero and why?
My parents because of their generosity of spirit and heart.

• What would you do if you won $1 million in the lottery?

I would probably give most of it away. Pay off the little debt I have. I consider myself very fortunate.

Editor’s note: Ms. Fox is the sister of Publisher Ellen Fox Emerson. For the record, the shop owner pays full price for her advertising on this site, and the publisher had no prior knowledge and no role in the publication of this article.

>> 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:

• 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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