Ellen Stange thought she was ready to retire, but when she noticed friends letting valuable furniture collect dust in storage units, she decided to start a new business instead. The local florist turned over her business, Flowers Make Scents, to her daughter, and this past summer, Stange opened Home on the James, an antiques and consignment shop, next door at 1266 Alverser Plaza in Midlothian.
"I love architecture and design," says Stange, whose current venture offers antiques as well as new and lightly used home accessories, including eclectic period pieces, pottery and paintings. She regularly redecorates the shop, using consignment items to make Home on the James feel like — you guessed it — a home. And Stange hopes to expand her collection of handmade clocks, quilted handbags and other work from local artisans. For more information, call 897–7474 or e-mail email@example.com. —Erika Elaine Wells
Upscale Skin Care
With the cold weather ramping up its season-long assault on your skin, Jami Smithson has a solution for smoothing out any rough edges that develop — her new line of organic sea-salt scrubs, Upscale. Available at The Kat's Meow, a Lakeside consignment shop that Smithson co-owns, the scrubs ($16.95 for an 18-ounce jar) come in 11 scents, including watermelon, peach and English pear. She recommends them for everyone, but especially those with sensitive skin because the scrubs are gentle enough for daily use. And don't forget to save those jars: You'll get a $1 discount on a new jar of sea-salt scrub if you bring in an empty one for recycling. For more information, call 346-1233 or visit consignatkats.com. —Ryan Vaughan
If the scenes set in the workroom are your favorite parts of Project Runway, then Fashion for Funds is your kind of fundraiser. As part of the Nov. 6 event, which benefits Children's Hospital, local designer Michael Taylor will entertain attendees by actually going through the steps of creating a couture gown from start to finish during the course of the evening. The event at the Country Club of Virginia will also feature nine rooms decked out with a nod to different designers, including spaces for Emilio Pucci, Coco Chanel, Ralph Lauren and Lilly Pulitzer, plus a room dedicated to accessories and another devoted to hats by Petersburg's Ignatius Creegan. "We are trying to showcase local designers," says event chair Heather Daniel. To that end, a runway show will give a peek at 2008 and 2009 participants from 1708 Gallery's Wearable Art fashion show. Set for 7 p.m. to 1 a.m., Fashion for Funds also includes cocktails, a seated dinner and dancing. For tickets, which are $450 for two patrons, call Daniel at 307-2852 or Laura Wilson at 399-5872. —Bethany Emerson