I WASN'T LOOKING FOR A NEW STORE, BUT ONE FOUND ME.
My clothing boutique Haberdashery celebrates its anniversary on March 17th. On the 20th of that month I woke up from a dream with one word in the form of vision…BLACKCHALK. I wrote it on a note in my phone that morning because I saw it so vividly, secondly that I actually remembered it and thirdly why that word??? The next Monday I was driving to Haberdashery down Lincoln Street. The old Laundry building has been on everyone’s radar for years because it has sat idle for so long. Last year the owners started fixing it up and we’ve all watched it start to transform! The locals were excited about the possibility of a new restaurant or something fun in the building and we were all eagerly awaiting its debut! This particular Monday I glanced at the building as I drove past, the door was open and the building permits were still there….but something else was on the door…. A BRAND NEW FOR RENT SIGN!!! Oh my gosh!! It’s a good thing there wasn’t a car behind me because I screeched to a halt, chucked a U and stopped in front of the building amazed that it was for rent!! How could this be?!?!?! I snapped a photo of the number on the sign and went on to Haberdashery for the work day. Still the building kept haunting me and all day I talked myself out of calling… “I’m happy, I don’t need another project, I like my life…” Blah, blah, blah….Tuesday that little voice was still talking so finally at 5:30 that night I called "just to get info" ;). I agreed to meet the owner’s daughter the next day to see the space. The building is the coolest….clay tile walls, all the old line equipment in still on the ceiling, lots of window, high ceilings and lots of character. The FOR RENT ad hit the paper that afternoon and the owner started getting calls about the building. Thursday I looked at it again with my mom and Teri, my long time manager and friend at Haberdashery. Friday I met the daughter again and said “I don’t know what I want to do, but I want to DO IT! PLEASE let me do something amazing in this space!!!” And then we kinda shook on it!
A week later the owner’s daughter asked if I had a name. I laughed and said “yes, I think I do… BLACKCHLAK Home & Laundry”. So there’s that word from the dream BLACKCHALK…I don’t know why really… It’s just a word smushed together but I like that BLACK chalk is unique, you always see white or colored chalk but rarely black…it’s all the same letters…it’s easy to remember and say. I definitely didn’t want to loose the old Fredericksburg Laundry original blade sign out front and wanted to incorporate the building’s history into its new beginning so “Laundry” needed to be in the name. HOME…well…home is what we love…it’s our safe space, our creative space, the people we love are here and our home is a reflection of who we are. Fredericksburg is growing and we need a local home store that caters to our families, something that encompasses that sense of love and home. Locals need a place to run in off Main street for great gifts that is easily accessible. We have B&Bs, newcomers, families that are growing and want fun, colorful, unique home furnishings. Thus the vision for BLACKCHALK Home & Laundry was born.
On August 25th we opened the doors to BLACKCHALK Home and Laundry! AND the building opened its doors again to the public since the Laundry closed in the 80s! This may be weird but I really wanted to space to speak to me as far as what it FELT like! I wanted to honor this space after so many people shared time, hard work and relationships in the history of the laundry. If these wall could only talk! Today it’s a happy place, the building is a joy to be in. I love that we have carved our niche into the history of this cool building. We turn on the music and the lights in the morning and we open the doors, we meet and enjoy visiting with the people who come to see us. We love seeing our locals and our guests! We make friends and form relationships just like the women who worked in the Fredericksburg Laundry so many years ago. Most guests say they’ve never seen anything like it! The store is eclectic and fun. It’s odd and beautiful. I only buy what I would have in my own home. It’s cool and funky, its unique, it’s love and happiness… it’s found and unbound…..it’s home. It’s Blackchalk Home and Laundry.