Business news from the Fredericksburg region.

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Shop has new name, new location

IT WASN’T UNUSUAL for customers to tell Two Sisters Boutique’s owners that they’d driven by their shop at 1711 Princess Anne St. for years before stopping in.

Heather and Jim Stapleton expect to get more foot traffic when they reopen the accessories and gift shop with a new name, Heather Boutique, on Monday at 721 Caroline St. in downtown Fredericksburg.

“It was time to do it,” said Heather Stapleton. “It was time to change the name and make it our own.”

Two Sisters, located in The Inn at the Old Silk Mill building, was previously owned by siblings Ann Evans and Beth Willis. After the Stapletons bought the business six years ago, some customers jokingly referred to Jim Stapleton

as “the other sister.”

That got old fast, said Stapleton, who suggested the new name. Not only does it honor his wife, but it inspired the green and purple color scheme for the new shop’s interior and the sprig of heather on its logo.

Heather Boutique, with its two display windows and stamped-tin ceiling, is filled with artful arrangements of many of the same lines of jewelry, clothing, accessories and other gift items that graced Two Sisters Boutique. Many are handcrafted by artists living in the Freder- icksburg area, other parts of Virginia or nearby states.

Heather Stapleton said customers sometimes recommend them or the artists approach her. She also searches for unique merchandise online and at specialty shows such as one featuring handmade gift items in Philadelphia.

“We picked up a couple of lines there,” she said.

Among the artists whose work Heather Boutique carries is Maryellen Kim of Richmond, who is known for creating jewelry using vintage beads, crystals and buttons. Kim, who was Country Living magazine’s “pitch your product” contest winner in 2008, will have a trunk show of her Twist Style earrings, necklaces and other items Nov. 23 at the store.

Other lines include Pluff Mudd Designs note cards, prints and linens by Mary Tooker of Stafford County and Fran Graham of Georgia; prints by M.J. Bradley, another Stafford artist; roomy fabric handbags from a Gettysburg, Pa., firm; and Romance Lights, decorative candle holders designed by cancer survivor Jane Ewer of Long Beach Township, N.J.

Bradley’s prints are new for the Stapletons, as is Snoozies’ line of sleepwear.

Heather Boutique also has a section of quilts, hair bows and dishes for babies; and customers can get a free cup of coffee in the back of the store, where gourmet food items by Wind & Willow and Bridgewater Candle Co.’s soy candles are displayed.

Bridgewater donates part of the proceeds from sales of its jar candles to help feed orphaned children around the world. Heather Boutique will take part in its campaign to increase donations through a Rice Bowls fundraiser. Customers can pick up a rice bowl to fill with pocket change and return it to the store before Christmas.

Heather Boutique also will accept furniture and other upscale household furnishings on consignment. And it will unveil a new customer loyalty program on opening day.

The shop is geared toward women of all ages, but Heather Stapleton and her staff will be happy to help men shopping for gifts for the females in their lives, she said.

“Our strong suit is customer service,” she said. “I want you to have a wonderful time. I want to be more like an old-fashioned shopkeeper.”

Cathy Jett: 540/374-5407