THE HOME ISSUE HISTORICAL HOME TOUR: LIBERTY HOUSE
VIP SUPERMOM: CLAIRE SCHWAB
LEE-FENDALL WALL HAS FALLEN DOWN
CLIMB UPTON VERTICAL ADVENTURES
MAKE YOUR OWN CBD BATH BOMBS THE HOME ISSUE • 1
Y O U R A L E X A N D R I A R E A L E S TAT E E X P E R T
FO R SAL E
FO R SAL E
P E ND I NG
P E ND I NG
724 South Union Street $2,050,000
711 Fords Landing Way $1,250,000
400 Madison Street #403 $585,000
28 Alexander Street $1,725,000
ALEXANDRIA SPECIALIST Washingtonian's Best Real Estate Agent 2018-2021 2021 RealTrends America's Best Real Estate Professionals 703.851.2556 | kristenjones.com firstname.lastname@example.org | Licensed in VA
2 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
109 S. Pitt St, Alexandria, VA 22314 Equal Housing Opportunity
Looking for your new Dental Home? CALL ONE OF THE
MOST TRUSTED DENTISTS IN ALEXANRIA
DR. KATHLEEN MULLANEY DDS FAGD
5 REASONS TO CHOOSE US 1. Guilt free dental care 2. Same day emergency visits 3. Full range of cosmetic services to brighten your smile 4. Options for replacing missing or broken teeth 5. Gentle cleanings
$99 New Patient Exam includes exam,necessary X-rays, periodontal charting and oral cancer screening
Invisalign • Veneers • Crowns Tooth Colored Fillings • Sedation Dentistry Digital Impressions • Whitening
CALL NOW: 571-321-6778
700 NORTH FAIRFAX ST., SUITE 230 ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 WWW.KATHLEENMULLANEYDDS.COM THE HOME ISSUE • 3
A I YA N A AT E L I E R # S K I N H E A LT H TIPS FOR SUMMER
SCAN ME TO LEARN MORE
S C H E D U L E Y O U R C O N S U LTAT I O N
4 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Coworking isn’t just for startups... Ask our accountants, lobbyists, consultants, & attorneys.
Beautiful, professional, private offices with premium amenities and services
NEARLY 40% of Industrious member companies are in professional services.
BOOK A TOUR AT INDUSTRIOUS ALEXANDRIA 2461 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314
industriousoffice.com/dc THE HOME ISSUE • 5
FROM THE PUBLISHER Welcome to The Home Issue, Alexandria! Please come on in! I'm so excited to give you the grand tour of our new issue!
Summer is officially in full swing and our thriving city is finally discovering what a successful restart looks like for us all. Events are returning and our photographers have been thrilled to capture your fundraisers, open houses, happy hours, celebrations and other gatherings to be featured in our print publication and online. If you are hosting an event and would like VIP to attend, be sure to email us at email@example.com Onward into The Home Issue! After learning what a quarantine truly means for ourselves and for our families, we all began looking at our homes a bit differently over the past year and a half. Home was no longer just a place to shower and store our wardrobe. Home became our only source of entertainment, our workplace, our favorite restaurant, our gym, our movie theater, our children's school, our safe haven... our everything. It's no wonder why the real estate and interior design industries are now booming. Our homes provided us with so much more than we could have ever imagined, and now it's time to redefine what it means to make them our own. Throughout this issue, you will find stories to assist you in this exciting and creative endeavor, as well as have the opportunity to learn more about a few of our local historical homes. You will also find a DIY bath project, a bit of legal advice on hiring contractors, tips on shopping vintage and much, much more!
THE HOME ISSUE HISTORICAL HOME TOUR: LIBERTY HOUSE
CHARITY SPOTLIGHT: SAFE SPACE NOVA
LEE-FENDALL WALL HAS FALLEN DOWN
CLIMB UPTON VERTICAL ADVENTURES
DIY YOUR CBD STORE BATH BOMBS
O N T H E C OV E R :
K R I S T E N J O N E S , R E A LTO R ®
Welcome home, Alexandria!
KELLIE GUNDERMAN P U B L I S H E R , V I P A L E X A N D R I A M AG A Z I N E
FLIP • CLICK • TAP
W H E R E P R I N T + D I G I TA L C O L L I D E
DESTINATION DOWNTOWN COMING AUGUST 2021 featuring old town alexandria, a tour of south royal, tech titans of alexandria + end of summer road trip destinations
6 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
First made famous in the '60s and '70s by actresses like Brigette Bardot, Goldie Hawn, and Farrah Fawcett, curtain bangs—as the name suggests—are parted down the middle and swept to each side, so they perfectly frame your face and eyes, much like a curtain does with a window. Let's be honest, curtain bangs will look great on just about anyone. However, they look extra gorgeous on round and square faces. This is mostly because they help elongate the appearance of your face. Another added benefit of curtain bangs is that they draw attention to your soulful eyes.
owner 118 N Fayette Street, Alexandria | www.salondezen.com | 703.549.1400 THE HOME ISSUE • 7
VO LU M E 3 • I S S U E 5 PUBLISHER KELLIE GUNDERMAN AS S I S TA N T P U B L I S H E R N ATA L E I G H W E B E R E D I TO R A N D R E W G AT E S AC C O U N T E X E C U T I V E S M A RT H A C A R U C C I M A RY H E R B E RT J O R G E M A RT I N E Z S TA F F W R I T E R L I E S E L S C H M I DT CONTRIBUTING WRITERS DA N I E L L E R E Y N O L D S , M S W C OV E R P H OTO G R A P H E R J O N AT H A N T H O R P E E V E N T P H OTO G R A P H E R S JULIE CARRASCO JEFF HEENEY ANNA MUHHINA V I C TO R I A M A N C E I G DA WA R N E R C O N T R I B U T I N G P H OTO G R A P H E R AMY EGGERS SARAH MARCELLA
W W W.V I PA L X M AG . C O M 8 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
BUYING OR SELLING?
CALL ME FOR ‘THE SCOOP’ ON THE ALEXANDRIA REAL ESTATE MARKET & HOME STAGING TRENDS!
1004 King St. Alexandria, VA 22314
Team Lead, Shoshanna and Company Realtor®, Accredited Staging Professional M: 202-957-9399 | O: 703-266-7277 firstname.lastname@example.org www.shoshannaandco.com
THE HOME ISSUE • 9
CONTENTS FEATURES 14
T H E C H A M B E R A L X S P OT L I G H T: K E L LY E C L A R K E OF RGS TITLE
V I P P R O F I L E : JA N E O F A L L T R A D E S | A M Y E G G E R S
TO R E N OVAT E O R N OT TO R E N OVAT E | F E AT U R I N G I N T E R I O R D E S I G N E R K R I S T I N T RY
V I P P R O F I L E : T H E FA R M W I TC H | A L I A N A S H E PA R D
V I P S U P E R M O M : C L A I R E S C H WA B
C OV E R S TO RY: T H E M O M P R E N E U R I A L S P I R I T
F E AT U R I N G R E A LTO R ® K R I S T I N J O N E S 38
V I P H I S TO R I C A L H O M E TO U R : T H E L I B E R T Y H O U S E
H E A LT H + W E L L N E S S : F I N D I N G H O M E B E YO N D T H E HOUSE
L E G A L C O R N E R : AS K A RT | W H AT YO U N E E D TO K N OW A B O U T H I R I N G A C O N T R AC TO R
A L E X A N D R I A' S P U RV E YO R O F C O LO R | F E AT U R I N G
J OA N N A S ZC Z E R B A N + L E A H D O N A H U E 54
M A K E YO U R OW N C B D B AT H B O M B S
O D E TO J OY: H OW A P R O F E S S I O N A L M U S I C I A N
BECAME A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER 60
1 0 R E AS O N S W H Y YO U S H O U L D S H O P V I N TAG E
C L I M B U P TO N V E RT I C A L A DV E N T U R E
L E E - F E N DA L L WA L L H AS FA L L E N D OW N
OT B D G U I D E L AU N C H PA RT Y AT H U M M I N G B I R D
C A F TA N N I G H T AT K A I Z E N TAV E R N
C O M M U N I T Y C O C K TA I L S AT A L X C O M M U N I T Y
T H E C H A M B E R A L X B U S I N E S S A F T E R H O U R S AT
TO P G O L F N AT I O N A L H A R B O R 56
E N T R E P R E N E U R N I G H T AT A R WO R K S H O P
I N C LU S I V E S I Z I N G S I P & S H O P AT G LY N N J O N E S SA LO N | H O S T E D BY B LO N D E I N T H E D I S T R I C T
HOSTING AN EVENT? WA N T TO S E E YO U R F R I E N D S & C O L L E AG U E S I N V I P ? O U R E V E N T C OV E R AG E I S 1 0 0 % C O M P L I M E N TA RY ! F O R C O N S I D E R AT I O N , P L E AS E E M A I L E V E N T I N F O TO : H E L LO @ V I PA L E X A N D R I A M AG . C O M
10 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Most Interesting Men 2021
NOMINATIONS ARE NOW OPEN VIP Alexandria Magazine’s September Issue is dedicated to celebrating Alexandria’s Most Interesting Men, but we need your help! Visit us online to nominate an Alexandrian to share their story and be featured on the cover of this exciting issue. VIPALEXANDRIAMAG.COM/MEN THE HOME ISSUE • 11
launch party photography by julissa carasco
Friends and family recently joined The Old Town Boutique District as they celebrated the launch of the annual OTBD Guide and the resiliency of Alexandria’s incredible small business community. The summer soirée was held at Hummingbird and sponsored, in part by The Goodhart Group.
12 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
THE HOME ISSUE • 13
14 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
THE CHAMBER ALX SPOTLIGHT
Kellye Curtis Clarke REGIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, RGS TITLE
The legal profession is one that is often entered for very personal reasons—and for Kellye Clarke, that reason was to help people. “I became a real estate attorney because I knew it would allow me to help others with pursuing their dream of owning a home and understanding the legal aspects of the process involved,” says Clarke, a real estate settlement attorney who has spent over 20 years working with clients on the legal aspects of buying, selling and financing homes. A Branch Manager and partner in the law firm that is Counsel to RGS Alexandria as well as recently named Regional Vice President of RGS, Clarke’s passion for her work is reflected in her success. “I have enjoyed providing guidance and assistance to individuals, small businesses, churches and organizations with understanding the transactional details of buying, selling and financing what is typically their largest and perhaps only investment,” says the wife and mother of two. “While I enjoy working on all types of transactions, I am most fulfilled when I assist first-time home buyers, seniors and diverse populations with the process. It has been especially gratifying over the years to advise clients on structuring and completing transactions to purchase and sell properties that allow families to receive the benefit of their investment over the years and transfer generational wealth. I am also passionate about sharing the importance of homeownership and transferring generational wealth with diverse communities. I am so grateful to the many great Realtors in the Alexandria community who have had confidence in me and the RGS Alexandria team
and entrusted us to assist their clients with closing their transaction.” Growing up, Clarke watched the women around her— including her mother, who was a 911 operator—helping their families and communities, and she felt a calling do so the same, in some capacity. Her work in real estate law fulfills that desire, and her membership at the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce has been an invaluable tool in her arsenal. “The chamber has been great with providing ongoing leadership training and an opportunity to network with local businesses and share how we can assist each other,” says Clarke, who participates in endurance events to support the American Heart Association and enjoys practicing yoga. “I’ve enjoyed attending the annual Women’s Leadership Forum and many networking events to get to know other local business owners. In particular, when I ventured out to start a small business, the chamber was invaluable as a resource.”
“The chamber has been great with providing ongoing leadership training and an opportunity to network with local businesses and share how we can assist each other... when I ventured out to start a small business, the chamber was invaluable as a resource.” - kellye clarke
interested in joining the chamber? visit www.thechamberalx.com THE HOME ISSUE • 15
16 16 •• VIP VIP ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE
A JANE OF ALL TRADES
story by andrew gates
Lifelong Alexandrian, Amy Eggers, is improving her community for generations to come. As owner of Amy Eggers Design, a board member at the Del Ray Business Association, and a co-founder of the Del Ray Vintage Flea Market, this Del Ray native boldly puts her stamp on the community. With her hands seemingly everywhere in Alexandria, it is hard to know where to start with Amy. What is clear is that what drives her is her deep-rooted Alexandrian heritage. “I am a fourth-generation Alexandrian. My dad grew up in Del Ray and I always remember stories of him telling us about Alexandria. It wasn’t really Del Ray or Old Town back then – it was just Alexandria.” She says that keeping a “community feel” alive is extremely important today. “We don’t want to become a town where people don’t talk to each other or help each other. It’s so important to me because I love this town.”
“I am a fourth-generation Alexandrian. My dad grew up in Del Ray and I always remember stories of him telling us about Alexandria." - Amy Eggers
One way Amy improves the community is through her business, Amy Eggers Design. To explain Amy Eggers Design in a couple of words is not easy. Her unique business is a mix of textiles, botanical and floral design, event production and planning, and more. A creative person by nature, Amy found it hard to choose one area in which to specialize when first starting Amy Eggers Design. “I thought, ‘Gosh, which creative outlet am I going to pursue?’ I have a mix interest in baking, fashion, others…” “I call myself a ‘Jane of all trades.’ I’ve had to pivot so many times to keep treading water that I’ve procured a lot of skills and experience so, therefore, I kind of like to say, if you can put an expression on something, whether it’s an event, or a fabric, or a floral arraignment, and anyone can say, ‘Wow, that’s awesome!’ then I want to put my name on it.” Amy's recent projects include her first lighting installation, a mural of faux flowers, and a 10-foot French flag in Old Town. She has done all of this and more while simultaneously planning a wedding for a client. “I’m constantly embarking on new projects, so I never do the same thing twice. I say, ‘Can this work?’ and I’ll give it a try and see what happens.”
THE THE HOME HOME ISSUE ISSUE •• 17 17
“It’s been an amazing opportunity, truthfully, living here. It’s so cool that I can walk down the street and go to an independently owned pharmacy or see a wellness practitioner or walk to the grocery store. These things I think are dwindling.”
Amy is only recently able to do weddings and large-scale events again, as the pandemic forced her to change many of her plans. Pivoting her business quickly as things shut down, Amy designed fabric with Del Ray street names and sold them as Del Ray-themed facemasks. “I tried to represent the community that I knew through textiles and fabric.” Only a few months before the pandemic hit, Amy joined the board of the Del Ray Business Association. “I joined the board two months before the pandemic. Part of my role was promoting events and marketing. So thankfully they took me up on my offer to help with those things.” Amy’s biggest project on the board was spearheading the recent “I Love Del Ray” campaign, which ran from late January to early April 2021. The campaign encouraged
18 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
the community to support local businesses during the bland winter months. Amy also co-founded the Del Ray Vintage Flea Market, a monthly market for vendors far and wide to showcase and sell their unique items. In only a brief time, the market has exploded in size and popularity, drawing crowds from Alexandria, other parts of Virginia, DC, and Maryland. “We started with literally four vendors including ourselves. This past market, we had almost 50 vendors.” When all is said and done, Amy does what she does for her love of Alexandria. “It’s been an amazing opportunity, truthfully, living here. It’s so cool that I can walk down the street and go to an independently owned pharmacy or see a wellness practitioner or walk to the grocery store. These things I think are dwindling.”
MAUREEN CLYNE + DEL RAY PSYCH
are proud to announce the return of
COOL YOGA Cool Yoga returns with instructor Maureen Clyne (yoga instructor and Realtor®) for our ninth summer of FREE outdoor yoga in the heart of Del Ray! Every Wedensday 6:30-7:30pm, June 23 - August 25 Located in the Del Ray Psych & Wellness lot at 1900 Mt Vernon Ave, Alexandria, VA 22301 *Please bring your own mat.
Maureen Clyne Realtor® (c) 703.967.8884 • (o) 703.518.8300 (e) email@example.com 310 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
THE HOME ISSUE • 19
CAFTAN NiGHT photography courtesy of amy eggers
Caftan Night was recently hosted at KAiZEN Tavern, located in the heart of Del Ray on Mount Vernon Ave. Guests were encouraged to wear their "Caftan Best," including kimonos, wraps or anything that is comfortable and makes you feel glamorous! Drinks and food specials were provided by KAiZEN Tavern.
20 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
CHEF/OWNER MELViN URRUTiA “I believe in delivering memorable experiences to our guests, whether it is through our food or just a great cocktail here at kaizen on the avenue.”
kaizen tavern is a small gem located in the heart of del ray, offering traditional and innovative sushi, street friendly snacks and craft cocktails... with a twist!
1909 MT. VERNON AVE. ALEXANDRIA, VA 22301 • (703) 836-1212
THE HOME ISSUE • 21
KRISTIN TRY HAS A PASSION FOR ART AND CREATING BEAUTIFUL SPACES
WWW.KRISTINTRYINTERIORS.COM | 202.674.2024 22 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
photo by stacy zarin goldberg
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE DIVING INTO A HOME RENOVATION PROJECT featuring kristin try, interior designer story by liesel schmidt
If you’re like most people over the past year, you’ve thought long and hard about your home and might be rethinking things…like, a lot. You might think about where you would make changes, what you would fix, or how you would like things to look and feel. While you may lie awake at night, contemplating the possibilities and then getting overwhelmed about the actual scope of the project and what it would take to do it all, it’s really not as bad as you think. It’s all about who you know—and what they know. “The difficulty of a renovation depends on a lot of issues,” says Kristin Try of Kristin Try Art + Interiors in Alexandria. As a designer for the past 10 years Try is an invaluable source when it comes to the ins and outs of renovations
photo by sarah marcella (tsg)
THE HOME ISSUE • 23
“Kristin’s style is classic, fun, and polished. Kristin herself is passionate about bringing beauty to others homes, and she brings this passion to life with an ability to be extremely professional yet approachable.” - LAURA W., INTERIOR DESIGNER
and remodels. “For instance, what is the scope of the renovation? A renovation you can live in throughout the process can be more difficult than when you move out, but both require good planning and a team to help make the process as easy as possible. We enjoy working with our clients, architect, and builder to do as much of the legwork as possible before you start the demo. A lot of decisions have to be made during a renovation, and having a team that stays on top of the process with the client makes a renovation much less stressful and can save you money in the long run. The team is used to problem solving and dealing with a majority of issues that come up, so they can pivot and move forward more quickly than a homeowner that is managing a renovation on their own.” So out of all the rooms in your home, which ones should get your attention? “I believe the best rooms suited for renovations are the rooms that aren’t serving your needs,” Try advises. “In our area, a lot of older homes have rooms that just aren’t functioning in a way that meets the needs of our lifestyles. We love to come in and help determine how to carve out a mudroom or command center for all the stuff that seems to accumulate. Also, unused formal dining or living rooms that would be better served as family rooms are a great renovation. We can help determine what flow makes the most sense for your needs and design to that. We also love opening up kitchens to allow for more family interaction and to better suit your entertaining needs.”
24 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
So how long will it take to turn my house into something that I absolutely love? Naturally, that depends on the scope of the project you’re tackling. But with so many people renovating their homes right now, there’s another factor in creating a timeline: competition with other renovations. “You can plan on renovations to take longer than expected during this time, as the supply chain challenges are real,” Try observes. “We’re having to wait for many appliances up to and over six months— the same for kitchen cabinetry and many other materials including tile, countertops, and lumber. Your team will be able to advise you on the best options and often know what is in stock or if a company offers to expedite your items for an extra fee. We are recommending that if you have flexibility and patience, you can move forward with your renovation. However, if you aren’t able to be flexible in the length of time and cost, it is better to wait until the supply chain and demand challenges ease up a little.” Wise counsel, indeed. Still think you want to renovate? Now you just need one more thing: a designer and a team of pros to handle everything. But the time to hire them is sooner rather than later. “You can’t start talking to your team soon enough; and you should bring in an interior designer at the start of the project, as we really think through the flow and function of the spaces down to the smallest details, from where your light switches make the most sense to what you store in every kitchen cabinet. We also get to the final touches like textiles and decorative lighting that really set your home apart from others and make it feel like you!” For more information on Kristin Try Art + Interiors, visit www.kristintryinteriors.com.
109 N Fairfax St, Alexandria, VA 22314 • @twiststyl
INTRODUCING... AN INDEPENDENTN COLLECTION DESIGNED IN L . A . WITH A LOVE FOR VINTAGE + MODERN RUNWAY LOOKS
NOW AVAILABLE AT MINT COLLECTIVE 101 S. ST ASAPH ST., ALEXANDRIA (571) 312-5443 @SHOPMINTCOLLECTIVE
THE HOME ISSUE • 25
26 •• VIP VIP ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 26
THE FARM WITCH LEARNING LESSONS ONE HORSE AT A TIME story by andrew gates photography by julie carrasco
Using live horses in the classroom may seem odd to some, but not for Alexandria’s Aliana Shephard. Aliana uses the magic of horses and other animals to enrich the lives of her students at the Burgundy Farm Country Day School. When asked to describe her teaching, she laughs and prefaces, “Nobody does what I do, so it takes a while to explain it. When people ask, ‘What do you do?’ I say, ‘Well, how much time do you have?’” To describe what Aliana does, it is important to go back to Burgundy’s origins. Before it was a school, it was a dairy farm, which meant that animals lived on the grounds and its infrastructure was designed to house them. When it eventually became a PK-8th school, students were free to interact with the animals that remained on site. “When the school was a little less formal, the kids were really handson with the animals. Alumni would take goats home for
spring break,” says Aliana, who is an alum herself. As time went on, the students interacted less with the animals. Aliana saw this firsthand during her time as a student. “As the school progressed through time and became more formal, the barn program got chipped away until the animals were kind of just there. That’s what I remembered as a kid is just going down on our lunch break to look at goats and chickens, but we didn’t have any formal instruction.” Aliana sees animal interaction as a dying component in modern society. “Three generations back, most of our ancestors would have a baseline knowledge of how to put a saddle on a horse and how to be around them. Through not much time, that very quickly went away.” She adds, “Most people 100 years ago had chickens in their yard or next door and that was normal and people understood where their food comes from.” After a time as a horse trainer and riding instructor, Aliana eventually returned to Burgundy as a teacher in 2014. With her love of animals, she knew that bringing the barn program back was of the utmost importance. “When I came back to the school, I made it my mission to make sure all the kids had exposure to the animals. It’s now become a formal farm studies program.”
THE HOME HOME ISSUE ISSUE •• 27 27 THE
The curriculum varies wildly day-to-day based on the students’ interests, the weather, and the behavior of the animals, which today include horses, sheep, goats, chickens, and turkeys. Lessons can be science-oriented, such as lessons about how a chicken lays an egg or sometimes can be more social-oriented, which Aliana says she finds extremely powerful. “A big part of what we do is learn how to interact with the horses. I do a unit on animal communication. Students learn to read physical cues from animals and learn about boundaries and communication and they learn how their body language affects the animals. Of course, these skills translate to human interactions as well.” Having spent her whole life riding, Aliana is adamant that horses can change lives for the better. “I found what [horses] did for me in my confidence and leadership was huge ... When you work with horses, you have to think about more than yourself. It automatically puts you in a leadership position.” “There is a phrase lots of trainers use; ‘Horses are a mirror to our soul.’ There is something sort of magical about pairings of horses and people and I truly believe that we can learn almost anything about any interaction with horses.”
IT’S THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS! The Summer Day Hammock Chair
This is the perfect mix of hammock and chair. Snuggle up with a good book in this summer’s most comfortable spot. The decorative edge adds some bohemian flare to the natural colored cotton, woven on a simple loom and tied by hand. A reinforced hanging loop means there are many days of cozy reading ahead. Oyanca Artesania helps artisans reach into the past to find a better future by helping them find markets for their traditional craft skills.
PURPOSEFUL GOODS AND GIFTS CRAFTED BY HAND FOR HOME AND LIFE #LIVELIFEFAIR
915 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 • (703) 684-1435
www.tenthousandvillages.com/alexandria 28 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Decorating your home is an exciting and signiﬁcant experience. Claire Schwab Interior Design, Inc. is proud to provide over thirty-two years of expertise in custom window treatments, furniture and lighting solutions, unique color palette creation, and comprehensive design service to assist our clients with their needs.
GET INSPIRED TODAY!
www.claireschwab.com (703) 780-8767 • firstname.lastname@example.org THE HOME ISSUE • 29
the advantages of small business ownership. “The challenges of wearing all the hats—design, client and vendor relations, project management, deliveries, installation, deadlines, you name it—are constant, but the benefits are incredible,” says Schwab. “It gives me flexibility, I’m always meeting new clients— many of whom become new friends—and every day is different. I also love seeing a project from start to finish, with a beautiful room or house a client loves!”
Claire Schwab Story by Liesel Schmidt
Five years ago, Claire Schwab’s life changed when her ten-year-old son Teddy was in a car accident that was nearly fatal. Now, she sees the many ways that the past five years have truly been a miraculous gift. An interior designer for 32 years, Schwab graduated from Vanderbilt, following in her father’s footsteps to his alma mater, and went on to take extra design courses at Northern Virginia College. Now the owner of her own business, she has learned the challenges as well as
30 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
“The challenges of wearing all the hats— design, client and vendor relations, project management, deliveries, installation, deadlines, you name it—are constant, but the benefits are incredible." - Claire Schwab The flexibility of her work has also afforded her something else: time with her son. “Teddy is a miracle,” says Schwab, who also has two older children. “Now 15 and a rising tenth grader at Commonwealth Academy, he shows gratitude and faith every day that ‘it wasn’t his time’ when he almost died five
years ago. The car accident on I-95 in South Carolina was life-changing for us, and he has rebounded in such a positive way and wants to heal and be the ‘best version of himself,’” she goes on, her deep admiration of her son evident in her words. “He has worked the recovery plan set out by his team of doctors and therapists and wants to prove that all the prayers and healing of the last five years have been for a reason. Incredibly enough, he keeps me going when times get hard. He is so loving and positive and thankful for all the prayers and support of our friends and family have shown us. He never resists the tutoring, hyperbaric chamber dives, or doctors’ appointments. He makes me better in every way, and he’s taught me to never give up.” Naturally, the whole ordeal was something that had a great effect on Claire. “Almost losing a child and being brought to your knees will change you,” she admits. “Circumstances, details, situations and quirky nuisances no longer bother me like they used to, and I have a ‘new normal’ of what is important to me and my children. I have also learned to always say ‘yes’ when someone offers help. I could never have weathered through without the support of friends, neighbors and family.” To learn more about Claire Schwab Interior Design, please visit www.claireschwab.com
NOMINATE A VIP SUPERMOM VIP Alexandria Magazine's newest mainstay, VIP SUPERMOM, is a feature dedicated to celerbating the resilient, courageious and selfless women who are raising Alexandria's next generation of movers and shakers! If you would like to nominate a local mother for this feature, please email us at email@example.com
THE HOME ISSUE • 31
Community Cocktials photography by sarah marcella
ALX Community recently celebrated the long-awaited return of their member happy hour! After overcoming a year like 2020, members were excited to (safely) get together and raise glasses to a healthier, happier, 2021. Guests enjoyed beverages, appetizers & desserts which were graciously provided by ALX Community.
32 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Matthew McCarthy 703-236-1366 4617 Duke Street, Alexandria geico.com/alexandria-mccarthy ¡Hablamos Español!
Limitations apply. See geico.com for more details. GEICO & affiliates. Washington, DC 20076 © 2022 GEICO
THE HOME ISSUE • 33
34 •• VIP VIP ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE 34
THE HOME HOME ISSUE ISSUE •• 35 35 THE
s a highly respected and sought after real estate agent in the area, Kristen Jones is the embodiment of what a Realtor should be, an “all-in” kind of person who invests in her clients and dedicates her time to giving them everything they need, from helping them pick the perfect paint colors and stains for their hardwood flooring, to ordering light fixtures and furnishing their new homes. No detail is overlooked and no aspect is left unconsidered. It’s just how she conducts business, and it’s also one of the reasons she’s become such a powerhouse throughout Northern Virginia. For Jones, these core values come naturally, an extension of the fact that she is a lover of people who has turned her inherent ability to make connections and innate talent for design into a successful career as a Realtor specializing in the Alexandria market. Add to that her deep passion for the area and knowledge of what’s going on in the local community, and you have a dynamo who’s determined to make her mark in the local real estate scene—and that has certainly translated into her success. Even in the midst of COVID, Jones kept her eye on the goal, seeking ways to
36 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
pivot and meet the demands of a world plunged into the depths of a pandemic. All the while, she continued to work with her clients, finding them homes that better suited their needs or helping them sell as they planned a new life elsewhere. The strains of a quickly changing market were ones that she handled with aplomb, and now she sees the light at the end of the tunnel. “Almost everyone is fully vaccinated now, so more and more buyers and sellers feel comfortable letting people into their homes again and going to open houses,” says Jones, a onewoman team under the McEnearney Associates Realtors name. “There is never a dull moment in my day, which is why I love what I do!” A wife and mother of two boys, Jones’s greatest challenge in attaining success has been in maintaining a healthy work-life balance, but her family has also been a great driving force in keeping her focused on forwarding growth. “It is an ongoing juggling and balancing act, and it’s never-ending,” says the 44-year-old former Fairfax County school teacher, who has, over the past five years, learned what it truly means to be a working mother and
Mompreneur. “Thankfully, my husband is extremely supportive of my work, so we are able to plan our family schedule and fill in for each other around his work and travel schedule as well as our kids’ schedules. Honestly, the only way I’ve been able to maintain my success as a Realtor while raising my two boys is a constant shuffling of schedules and great time management.” As challenging as it can be to stay on top of everything, Jones knows that the example she shows her boys is invaluable. “It shows my boys that you have to hustle and work hard. Nothing comes easily in life. You simply have to work for it,” she says. “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in my work is that you get what you give. Period. Also, they’ve learned that you have to show up for people and stand by your word as well as being patient and kind. In my line of work, that’s important, because moving from a home is an emotional and trying time for many.”
“With kids, you must always be prepared for anything, all the time—and that’s something that has served me well in business. Both as a mom and as a businesswoman, I am also constantly reevaluating how I can do better the next time."
The correlation between motherhood and entrepreneurship is one that Jones sees clearly, and she takes pride in the ways she’s grown in each area. “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve had the ability to maintain a balance between being present with my family and my work,” she says. “With kids, you must always be prepared for anything, all the time—and that’s something that has served me well in business. Both as a mom and as a businesswoman, I am also constantly reevaluating how I can do better the next time. I feel that any successful business person should look in the rearview mirror and ask themselves, ‘How do I think that went? What could I do better on next time?’” A Pittsburgh native who left her hometown for Alexandria 22 years ago, Jones fell in love with the city and truly made herself a local, setting down roots and starting a family with her husband of 17 years, whom she married at St. Mary’s Church in Old Town. “I love where I live, and I like to see local business owners thrive in our community,” she says. “As an example, I partnered with many business owners over the holidays during COVID to promote their small businesses. I am happy to report that local shops and restaurants in my community are thriving! We all need to support one another.” As her business grows and her boys get older, Jones strives to maintain that balance that has kept her family close and her work life on track. And as the years go by, she hopes that they will remember not only that she is a dynamic and successful businesswoman, but also that she is a great mother; one who loved to cook with them, who loved to take them to pick blueberries and peaches at the shore, one who spent time with them, one who laughed with them and loved them. To learn more about Kristin Jones and her real estate services, please visit www.kristenjones.com.
THE HOME ISSUE • 37
VIP HISTORICAL HOME TOUR
The Liberty House story by liesel schmidt
Walking the streets of Old Town Alexandria, one cannot help but feel enchanted by the architecture of the buildings and the sense of history that exudes from every cornerstone and cobblestone. This is a place where so much of the past has been preserved while simultaneously making room for progress and change. It is that specialness that caught the attention of Cameron and Noelle Foster when they came to Alexandria for the first time in late 2016. “Our daughter was moving from
38 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
our home in Seattle, Washington, to Washington, D.C., to attend college at George Washington University, and it wasn’t easy having her move so far away from us,” explains Cameron of the events that precipitated the visit. “After moving her into her freshman dorm, the sadness really hit—especially for Noelle. Many tears were shed in our hotel room, and then a friend told us about Old Town Alexandria for a fun day trip. I knew the distraction of a charming, historic, walkable town would
help cheer Noelle up. While strolling up and down King Street, we wound up walking into a real estate office. Truly, it was an emotional decision, but I couldn’t stand seeing my wife so sad about her baby moving 3,000 miles away. I knew that she—we—needed a ‘project,’ and renovating an old home seemed the perfect remedy. Roughly six months later, we were proud owners of a dilapidated home in Old Town from 1860 which had not been shown love in a very long time. Not only would renovating such a delightful historical home be a labor of love, but it also gave us more reasons to spend time just minutes away from where our daughter was attending college.” After purchasing the house in early 2017, the remodel began later that year—and so did the incredible transformation of the home to its former glory. The entire interior of the house was taken down to studs that held the exterior siding on the home, and the Fosters could see daylight from the inside of the house through cracks and holes in the exterior German lap siding. Inside, the original fireplace and mantel was something that the couple knew needed to be the focal point of the living area, though it took repairs to make it operable and restore its look. Miraculously, they were also able to save most of the original hardwood floors, though everything else inside the exterior walls was removed and rebuilt. Naturally, with the home’s location in the historic district of Old Town, the Fosters faced strict limitations on what they could do to the exterior of the house. The original six over six windows were in desperate need of replacement, but specifications required that the new windows be historically accurate. That meant wooden windows with two panes on the upper sash and two panes on the lower sash, though the Fosters were able to install windows with doublepane thickness to help insulate the home. The shutters were also replaced with operable wooden shutters, and the home was given a new front door, as well as a metal roof and a Bevolo gas lamp near the front door.
THE HOME ISSUE • 39
from this... to that While the challenges of maintaining historic accuracy could have meant that the original kitchen at the back of the house had to stay limited to its predefined 90 square feet, the Fosters petitioned the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) to move the northern kitchen wall out roughly five feet to be in line with the north side of the property line. After gaining approval for the plan, the kitchen gained 100 square feet, which helped its functionality and allowed for the installation of an island and the addition of French doors that opened to a private patio built of bricks that, like the home itself, had quite the story. “In cleaning up the back yard, we discovered bricks from nearby brick manufacturers dating back to the early 1800s about two inches under the soil,” says Cameron. “We excavated them, then cleaned them up and reused the original bricks to create a patio which sits under an old cherry tree. It’s the perfect setting for us to relax and drink a nice glass of wine.”
we wanted to feel special each time we arrive—the way you feel when you’re walking into a posh boutique hotel,” Noelle explains. After the renovation, Liberty House was dramatically brighter and larger with the open rooms and high ceilings, which allowed for a more dramatic decor scheme. The Fosters filled it with unique art and decor they sourced from local thrift stores and Eastern Market in D.C. “It’s fun searching for quirky, historically significant pieces or president-related decorations,” says Cameron. “One of our first visions was to paint the original bricks of the fireplace white and hang a black and white DC flag made by local artist, Robert Jaxon. It became the focal point on the main floor. Then, the tiny powder room under
The surprises didn’t stop there. “Last year, Noelle was digging in the front of the house to plant a hedge of boxwoods and dug up a rusted skeleton key just to the right of the front door, roughly six inches deep under bricks,” Cameron says. “Amazingly enough, it appears to be the original front door key, but is too rusted to confirm.” Like so much of Old Town, it is the exterior of the home that first captures attention. Once the façade was restored, the Fosters chose a color befitting the name they gave the home: Liberty House. “We chose a rich navy blue, combining it with bright white trim and a black door and shutters because we felt that it was crisp, happy, and inviting, without being too flamboyant or theatrical,” says Noelle. “The nearby houses were painted muted, pale, or somber colors, and we really wanted our house to appear welcoming and cheery.”
the stairs gave us the perfect space for hand-painted black and white vertical stripes, making a boring and small powder room into a dramatic showpiece.”
In the same vein, the interior was also created to be inviting and fun. “This is our ‘home away from home,’ and
And Liberty House, with its history, should indeed be a showpiece. Over the course of its existence, the home
40 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
passed through the hands of seven owners before being purchased by the Fosters’ company, Alfred Street, LLC. Since then, it has served its purpose well, providing a comfortable place for the Fosters to land when they come to Alexandria to visit the place that has captured their heart. “When our daughter graduated and moved back to Seattle, we could have sold the house, but we just couldn’t fathom giving it up,” Cameron says. “Over the past few years, we have built relationships with our neighbors and we love returning as frequently as possible. We became friends with a couple who lives on our block, and then our social group expanded from there. The first thing we do when we land at the airport is text everyone that we’re here and we spend our evenings drinking wine on our patios or visiting the nearby restaurants. Noelle is looking forward to joining the neighborhood book club, which will bring her to town each month on a regular basis.” When the Fosters are back in Seattle, Liberty House is available for short-term rental. “We want others to experience how magical Old Town is,” says Cameron. For more information on the Liberty House, please follow @LibertyHouseOldTown on Instagram!
RENOVATING HOMES TO SELL FOR TOP DOLLAR IN DAYS After helping many clients move from lifetime homes into smaller homes or 55+ communities, I have enjoyed managing that huge burden for my clients, encouraging them not to lift a ﬁnger.
GREG W. HUDGINS, MSOD GREG@GWHudgins.com
1934 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201
THE HOME ISSUE • 41
42 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
home (beyond the house) story by danielle reynolds, msw I have lived in many houses in many countries, so trust me when I say, moving is hard. But through the packing tape, bubble wrap, and boxes, you will eventually reach that “ahh home” feeling. When you’ve reached that moment, coming home becomes more than just being in a physical location with tangible things; it becomes about connecting to a place of comfort where the mind rests and restoration begins. For me, home in Alexandria is where my family and the pieces of my adult life started to come together. In the few short years of “being a local,” I feel a sense of belonging, love, and protection. There is no shortage of opportunities for social gatherings and outdoor activities. This city is deep in culture and tradition, from picturesque neighborhoods and colonial heritage to stunning waterfront charm, Alexandria is idyllic. The sense of home, however, is deeper than where I live; it’s a state of mind where I feel most at peace and without judgement. A sense of home cannot be curated or purchased in a single day. It takes time. In all my moves, I took small steps to recognize what I needed for myself, crafting an authentic image for what home really is.
Home is connection
HOME IS A CONNECTION. We have powerful connections to the places we feel at ease. As a Mental Health Clinician with Del Ray Psych and Wellness, my work is rooted in research and evidence-based practice. The science of Mental Health is beginning to gain a deeper understanding of the visceral and intangible feelings being at home produces. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or fMRI, technology, researchers found key areas of emotional processing in the brain that are activated by “places that induce a sense of connection and belonging.” These findings shed light on the magnetic pull our homes have on our emotional regulatory system. Some examples of ways to connect to home may be: • Display pictures that evoke positive emotions. • Cultivate a soothing environment. • Practice daily moments of gratitude and mindfulness. • Sit down for meals, when possible, with those you love.
THE HOME ISSUE • 43
Home is routines and rituals
HOME IS ROUTINES + RITUALS. Think about all the routines and rituals that happen daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Routines and rituals offer the opportunity to repeat experiences and gain familiarity. The routines and rituals are important because they not only offer predictable experiences but help create history and repetition. Examples of rituals and routines may be: • Annual celebrations • Special projects and exploration • Community festivals • Predictable schedules. • Special visitors • Annual family gathering
Home is growing and belonging
HOME IS GROWING + BELONGING. A sense of belonging doesn’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort to grow. Growing creates not only a positive sense of belonging but also helps foster the circle of nurturing. That is, being in a community with people who uplift you and in whose presence you feel your best. A sense of belonging can grow in many ways: • Get to know your neighbors. • Try the baking trick. It’s a delicious means of conventional friendship (no one would turn down warm cookies). • Take part in your environment and culture. Reflect on what’s important to you. Maybe it’s a local Co-op or yoga, maybe it’s a book club. Have fun! • Go outside and wonder. It doesn’t matter what you do, be it walk, run, or meander. Just explore your neighborhood and meet new people. • Check-in with your own attitude. Be open to new opportunities and adventures. • Try the local café culture. No city is complete without a coffee shop. It’s the perfect place to establish a routine, meet the locals, and make new friends. My home is beyond the four walls of my house. My home is not perfect, and not always ready for hosting a dinner party (far from it). Yet, somehow, it is where everything feels fine and beautiful, and where laughter fills the air.
Danielle Reynolds, MSW is a Supervisee in Social Work at Del Ray Psych & Wellness, LLC. Her focus is helping individuals and couples achieve an optimal state of being. Danielle uses a holistic treatment approach while simultaneously integrating an awareness of neuroscience and positive psychology. Her training is robust in Health and Wellness, which helps the client to achieve that which the mind believes. Danielle honors the importance of blending evidence based modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction into each treatment session. Learn more at www.delraypsych.com
44 44 •• VIP VIP ALEXANDRIA ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE MAGAZINE
YOUR SENIOR & ESTATE PROPERTY SOLUTION
MINDFUL BUSINESS COACHING
Achieve greater productivity and personal satisfaction with this service, provided by ICF certified coach Kristine Eelkema.
REIKI ENERGY HEALING
Restore balance and heal the body, mind & spirit with this nonevasive, gentle touch energy therapy tht releases energy blocks.
MINDFULNESS MEDITATION MORNINGS
Join Kristine Eelkema on Tuesday mornings (6:30am) for an outdoor meditation session. $10 suggested dontion.
HYPNOSIS FOR WEIGHT LOSS
This 3-week weight management program, led by Dr. Eleni Boosalis, will empower you to manage both your hunger and your weight.
AYURVEDIC HOLISTIC HEALTH SEMINARS
Discover the healing benefits of the world's oldest holistic healing systems w/ Ayurvedic and Yoga Scholar, Dr. Naresh Chand To register for any of these workshops or others, please visit our website at
1900 MOUNT VERNON AVE. • (571) 281-0338
Know it’s time to sell and feeling stuck? Did you recently inherit a home or estate? Cathi & Christine answer these questions and work together to offer you a seamless solution!
Christine Sennott VA, MD & Cathi SERVICING DC Coridan Elevate Home Sales Services Your Transition Partner firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Scan703.785.8762 this QR code with your 860.759.9274 camera to go
to Christine’s Guide To Inherited Properties KW METRO CENTER Scan this DUKE QR code with your camera 1701 STREET SUITE 100 to learn more about their partnership and ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 703.535.3610 how they work together, synergistically to get your property sold for TOP DOLLAR
ELEVATE HOME SALES SERVICES firstname.lastname@example.org CHRISTINE SENNOTT YOUR TRANSITION P 703.785.8762 email@example.com CATHI CORIDAN 860.759.9274
BREAKFAST & LUNCH KW METRO CENTER 1701 DUKE STREET SUITE 100 ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 703.535.3610
119 SOUTH ROYAL STREET ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 (703)-535-8151 • FONTAINEBISTRO.COM
THE HOME ISSUE • 45
A RTHUR L. W EISS Attorney Certified Valuation Analyst (CVA), M.S. Finance
WE CAN HELP YOU WITH: • Buying/Selling a Business • Investing in a Business • Tax Audits • Unfiled Tax Returns • Tax and Commercial Litigation • Tax Liens, Levies and Garnishments
• Construction Law • Contracts • Personal Injury • Consumer Law • Business Valuations
Specializing in the analysis of business opportunities & investments. Call us at (703) 226-9406 before you invest! Appointments available in Alexandria and Fairfax
797 Center Street Herndon, VA 20170 703 226-9406 www.ArtWeissLaw.com Licensed in Virginia, Arizona, US Tax Court and Federal District Courts 46 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Dear Art, I'm thinking about hiring a contractor to do some work on my home. Is there anything I should know?
There will come a time for every house when outdated cabinets need replacing, flooring is worn out, a new bathroom is needed, or a new sunroom would be just wonderful. Shopping for a contractor to perform these tasks can be challenging. Here are some tips to use when looking for a contractor and entering a construction contract with them. Make sure your contractor is licensed with the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation or DPOR. You can check on the DPOR website to verify that they are licensed. If they are not licensed, they may tell you, “We have an employee who has a license.” Not enough. Make sure the company you hire has a license. How about a fun experiment – the next time you get a Home Magazine in the mail with all the ads for contractors, go on the DPOR website and see which ones are licensed and which ones are not. You will be surprised. Some unlicensed companies will subcontract the work to another contractor. Some flooring companies will sell you the materials and then hire a subcontractor to install them. Make sure subs on your job are licensed as well. The gold standard in a contract has the contractor stating in writing that it is licensed. This may come in handy if you need to sue for fraudulent inducement. By the way, having a website and a business license is NOT the same as having a contractor’s license. It takes 20 seconds to check online. Why not do it?
tell you. If you hire a reputable licensed contractor, they should know. Either way, the contract should reference questions relating to permits. Completion dates are often completion goals. It is not going to be complete on the date they promised and if it is, well that’s wonderful but relatively rare. Things happen. If you need to have it done by a certain date, for let’s say a graduation or wedding party, a holiday meal or out of town family visitors, tell your contractor that. In fact, you can put in the contract (where it discusses the estimated date of completion) the following,“ The completion of all construction to be performed under this contract time is of the essence.” The contractor will likely not understand this provision, but it means that the project absolutely must be completed by the projected date or the contractor will be liable for any damages you incur as a result of the delay. Most contracts will state that the completion date is just an estimate and that the contractor is not liable for any delays due to a whole bunch of reasons. However, if you are targeting a very specific completion date, this needs to be discussed with the builder.
Does your project require permits? If so, who will be responsible for applying for them? Who will be responsible for calling the city or county development offices to arrange for inspections? Your contract with the builder should answer all of these questions. If you are not sure whether permits are required or not, you can contact the local development authority and ask. They will
THE HOME ISSUE • 47
Make sure any changes and modifications are in the contract. Any decent construction contract will contain a provision stating that all changes and modifications need to be in writing and signed by both parties. Great provision, however, it is often ignored. The builder is busy, you are busy, and the change to the tile in the bathroom, well everyone agrees verbally that it will be green instead of blue, but does that mean it will happen? The written change is for your protection as well as the builder’s. Pay attention when modifications arise. Getting it in writing and signed is the gold standard. Hopefully, it will never be an issue. Expect the unexpected. For instance, imagine that old cabinets are removed and the wall has black mold patches throughout. Be prepared for unanticipated costs and delays. Plan for them, especially if you are targeting a very specific completion date. Paying the contractor is important, but can be tricky. The job costs $55,000 and the contractor wants $35,000 down. What do you do? In an ideal world, the contractor would set that money aside and use it for your project only. That’s very unlikely. More likely, the contractor is going to use those funds for other projects that have gone over budget. Every contractor has them. How you handle this depends upon your negotiating power. In my experience, I once knew a client with a $150,000 remodeling job on a house in New Jersey. He had the cash to pay it in full. I recommended that he take out a construction loan at a bank and let the bank handle the due diligence. They are better at it. He didn’t listen to me. He paid the contractor and the job went south quickly. He sued, but by then the unlicensed contractor was in the wind. That client was my brother,
who ended up borrowing another $150,000 to get the job repaired and done correctly. Do your research as you prepare for your project by selecting colors, looking at surfaces, or deciding between the flat panel and raised panel doors. Internet videos are available on every subject you could think of. Getting rid of carpet and putting in tile? How about researching how to install floor tile? Familiarize yourself with the details. It will help you communicate your concerns to the contractor. It is everyone’s hope that a project goes smoothly, but sometimes you may need to call an attorney and say, “I just have a few quick questions about my remodeling job…” In that scenario, who is going to pay those legal fees? Under Virginia law, you. If you talk to a lawyer, you pay the legal fees at $400 an hour. However, if your contract has the following provision, “In any dispute arising out of or relating to this contract, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs,” that changes things. You may be able to recover those fees. However, be on the lookout for one-sided attorney’s fees provisions where the contractor would be entitled to recover fees but not the homeowner. We have all heard the old sayings about assuming things and the ounce of prevention. They both apply in triplicate in your remodeling job. That’s because once the tile is up, the floor is down, or the roof is installed, there is little to be done to repair any wrong assumptions. Don’t assume they’re licensed. Don’t assume they will get the permits. Don’t assume. Make sure your builder knows what you want, when you want it, and how much you are willing to pay for it.
Esquire, is a graduate of the James Rogers School of Law at the University of Arizona. His other academic accomplishments include a master’s degree in accounting, a master’s of science degree in finance and an undergraduate degree in History and German. He is a member the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and regularly confers with business owners and attorneys in matters regarding business valuation. Mr Weiss regularly lectures on tax matters, valuation issues and IRS representation. He served twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, retiring in 1989. As a young officer he served in Thailand, England, Germany and a host of bases in the United States. He is married and has two children. HAVE A LEGAL QUESTION FOR ART? EMAIL IT TO HELLO@VIPALEXANDRIAMAG.COM. ALL LEGAL QUESTIONS REMAIN CONFIDENTIAL.
48 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
BUSINESS AFTER HOURS photography by anna muhhina
The Chamber ALX recently hosted Business After Hours, presented by Kari Steinberg of Long & Foster Real Estate. This marked the chamber's first in-person event of the year. Guests enjoyed refreshments and networking on the rooftop terrace of TopGolf National Harbor,
THE HOME ISSUE • 49
photo courtesy of sarah marcella + the scout guide alexandria
50 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Alexandria's Purveyor of Color FE AT UR I NG B OX WOOD'S J OAN N A SZ CZ ER BAN + L EAH DON AHUE photography by sarah marcella (tsg) + jeff heeney
When Boxwood’s owners Joanna Szczerban and Leah Donahue first met in January of 2019, they had no idea they were about to embark on a two-year journey to build one of Old Town’s favorite gift shopping destinations. At the time, Szczerban ran a store called Royal Street Barn, while Donahue was enrolled at Marymount for a degree in interior design. Donahue visited the shop in search of a desk for a client when they started to talk about the future of the retail space at 128 South Royal, an old historic building that started as a bank. It has been zoned for retail for many years and was home to a wide range of stores.
"It was clear from the start that we both had a similar vision for what the shop could become - how it could evolve into something that Old Town really needed." - JOAN N A The pair built the Boxwood brand to appeal to a range of ages as well as introduce a new sense of color into the market. “Everyone was just coming off the peak popularity of HGTV’s Fixer Upper and the modern farmhouse look. We knew there was a real gap for a store that understood how to bring color into people’s homes because we believe that homes should be as vibrant and colorful as the people who live in them,” said Donahue.
When they opened Boxwood in April of 2019, it was on a shoestring budget. They joke that their first buying trip really cemented the business partnership, given that they could only afford one hotel room. The vast majority of their capital went to inventory instead of building out the space. Then they slowly started to invest back into the store to make the improvements they wanted such as extra workshop space, custom bookshelves, lighting, wallpaper, and fresh paint. Some of the early product offerings that Szczerban and Donahue agreed upon are still some of their best sellers. Their vinyl floor mats are one example. Many of the historic homes around Old Town have entryways with heavy, low-hanging front doors. Boxwood offers a line of Italian vinyl floor mats that are thin enough to clear those doors - but more importantly, the Italian designs are stunning. “Our line of vinyl floor mats and placemats have quickly become a staple for people’s homes. We are constantly placing custom orders for larger sizes or different patterns. And while it takes some time to come from Italy, it’s always a favorite delivery,” said Szczerban. “We also both fell in love with blankets from in2green - a brand we have carried since day one. They are sustainably made from recycled water bottles or scraps of fabric and offer a modern splash of color for any home,” added Donahue. In early 2020, Boxwood was one of the many local businesses that was able to survive through the shutdown with loyal customers, a generous landlord, and
THE HOME ISSUE • 51
products people wanted. The owners attribute much of their success to being the exclusive source in Northern Virginia for Annie Sloan® Chalk Paint® - the original manufacturer of paint that can transform old furniture without priming or sanding. The more than 30 color options provide an easy way to revive furniture, and Boxwood offers workshops to help beginners. “It’s no surprise that people suddenly had time for those DIY home projects,” said Szczerban. “There were days where we drove all over the city to deliver paint and brushes to front doors.” Today, they marvel at how many customers come to Boxwood for a very particular gift. Customers work with each of their three employees, Cindy Kolbe, Gayle Palmer, and Nancy Soyka, to find just the right gift at the right price. “We’ve found that there’s a palpable desire to shop local for gifts, when Amazon or Target can’t fit the bill. Even more so for those more complex gift scenarios like a party hostess who has everything, a vacation homeowner who lets your family crash for a week, the teacher who has too many coffee mugs, the mother-in-law who is a quintessential mother-in-law,” said Donahue. This coming year, when they’re not in Boxwood, Szczerban and Donahue look forward to returning in person to the gift markets around the country in cities like Dallas, New York, and Atlanta. They note that they always want to touch and feel a product before they introduce
52 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
it to customers. They know that Alexandria shoppers expect quality that's harder to find online, though they are also working on revamping their own website for easy shopping options. From gorgeous pottery to the best smelling candles; from Caspari and Vietri napkins to Tulusa linens by local Alexandrian Sue Henry, Boxwood continues to offer lovely items in a wide range of vibrant colors to fit any home.
HOME DECOR & GIFTS IN THE HEART OF OLD TOWN
128 S. ROYAL STREET | ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 (703) 537-8996 BOXWOODOLDTOWN.COM
THE HOME ISSUE • 53
MAKE YOUR OWN CBD BATH BOMBS BROUGHT TO YOU BY YOUR CBD STORE®
We've all heard about the benefits of CBD. It treats a wide range of conditions as an alternative to traditional medications and pharmaceuticals, encouraging users to embrace a healthier lifestyle as they explore various CBD products. Interestingly enough, CBD has even become a popular ingredient in bath bombs, which means that those wonderful little orbs of fizzy relaxation are about to take stress relief to whole new levels. Plunk one into a hot bath, and you’ll get to listen to it fizz before you sink down and indulge yourself in all the skin-softening properties it releases. The CBD that releases from these specialty bath bombs soothes both body and mind. They may even help facilitate better and quicker sleep.
So, where can you find your own CBD bath bombs? Simple! We're going to make them together. The best part: You already own most of the supplies we need... and what you don't have can easily be found at your local Your CBD Store. Ready for a little DIY action? Bombs away!
All that mood stabilization and improved sleep quality is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to CBD. Fun fact: It’s also good for your skin because it helps combat damage from free radicals. Because of that, CBD is being infused into skincare products including joint and muscle creams, face masks, and facial serums. While CBD bombs make skin smoother and softer by penetrating the skin’s outermost layers, it is safe for individuals using blood thinners because it does not actually enter the bloodstream.
• 1 cup of baking soda • 1/8 cup of cornstarch • 1/8 cup of Epsom salts • 1/2 cup of citric acid • 1 tablespoon of your preferred CBD hemp extract oil • 1 teaspoon of your favorite essential oil • 1 teaspoon of water • 1 large mixing bowl • 1 small bowl • 1 whisk • 1 bath bomb mold / ice cube tray
54 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
CBD BATH BOMB RECIPE Makes: One bath bomb Prep time: 15 minutes Set time: Overnight
for each bath bomb, you’ll need:
instructions: Step 1: Combine baking soda, cornstarch, Epsom salts and citric acid in a big mixing bowl. Step 2: If you want to add a pop of color to your bath bomb, we recommend natural ingredients such as matcha powder or beet powder instead of artificial food coloring. You can add these powders to the other dry ingredients. Start with 1/4 teaspoon (a little goes a long way). Step 3: In a smaller bowl, combine the CBD hemp extract oil, your preferred essential oil(s) and water. (We recommend using full-spectrum CBD oil.) Step 4: Slowly incorporate your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients with a whisk. There's a fine line between taking your time to make sure you don't make your
mixture too wet, and working quickly so that your mixture does not dry out before it is put placed in the molds. You can also make your bath bombs extra special by adding flower petals or dried herbs to your mixture before putting it into the mold. We love using dried rose petals for anxiety relief and dried lavender for a great night's sleep. Step 5: Fill two sides of a spherical mold with the mixture, packing it tightly so it sets well and then press the mold closed. Pack it hard into the molds and let it dry fully before removing or touching it. Step 6: Let the mixture set overnight and then carefully pop the bath bomb out of the mold. Leave to set for 72 hours to be safe. Step 7: Toss your bath bomb in the tub, soak, relax and enjoy!
301 S WASHINGTON ST SUITE B, ALEXANDRIA, VA 22314 (571) 312-4705 • WWW.CBDRX4U.COM THE HOME ISSUE • 55
SMALL BUSINESS OWNER
make & mingle
photography by igda warner
AR Workshop Alexandria recently hosted an event to assist small business owners to create custom, branded signage. The evening also provided ample opportunities to forge new connections through crafting and conversation.
56 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Joy Branagan, Professional Organizer
Organize with Joy Organize with Joy is a professional organizing company that helps busy people create an organized system for their space so they don't feel stressed and overwhelmed in their own home. When you clear your clutter, you clear your mind.
“With my husband recovering from a serious illness, I needed to simplify my life. Joy helped me declutter and organize, but most of all she lightened my burden.” - Jan, Alexandria, VA
www.organizewithjoy.com THE HOME ISSUE • 57
58 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
“Where most people see chaos, I see a puzzle to be solved."
ODE TO JOY
HOW A PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN BECAME A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER photography by liesel schmidt | photography by victoria mance Most people might not see a connection between getting organized and playing a musical instrument, but those two activities are what define professional organizer, Joy Branagan. A professional French hornist since 1997, Joy has long depended on attention to detail, focus, and drive to find success—and those are the same qualities that earned her placement in the San Antonio Symphony, Richmond Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, as well four years playing in the National Symphony Orchestra as an extra musician. Her attention to detail in music has become vital to the career she’s built in organizing. As with so many small businesses, it’s the how and why of Joy’s story that are so interesting. “My interest in organizing began several years ago after a particularly difficult audition loss,” she recalls. “I knew I was good at organizing, and I like to joke that I can’t practice my horn unless my space is completely organized. I’d been organizing for friends for fun, but at this pivotal point in my music career, the seed was planted. A few years later when I was freelancing as a musician full-time, I wanted more control over my time and where I worked. I decided to become my own boss and go for it with organizing!” And thus, Organize with Joy, LLC was born. Since the launch of the company, Joy has gained a reputation for the skills she brings to a project—and really, she doesn’t see it as too different from being a musician. “Practicing and learning new music is all about coming up with ideas and solutions, and that’s exactly what I do when I organize,” she observes. “At the same time, classical music tends to be structured and follows a set of rules, and creating order out of chaos in organizing really relates to that concept.”
That correlation is perhaps what has made the transition such a successful one. “I think the reason most people call me is because that they are overwhelmed with their disorganization,” Joy says. “Where most people see chaos, I see a puzzle to be solved. I love being able to break down projects into categories and figuring out how to make things work. Sometimes it’s obvious what needs to be done, and sometimes it’s trial and error, but because I’m not emotionally attached to the clutter, it’s not overwhelming for me.” Naturally, organizing is about more than just finding a place for things. It’s about simplifying and, ultimately, making life easier and less stressed by things. “I believe that organization is important because so many people are feeling anxious and overwhelmed in their own homes,” says Joy. “My motto is, ‘Clear your clutter, clear your mind.’ My client testimonials confirm this, and they feel as though a weight has been lifted once their clutter is gone. They can work more efficiently, and their productivity increases. And honestly, you just feel better when you look at a beautifully organized pantry or closet instead of a messy space. I love making my clients’ lives easier, and it’s so rewarding to see the transformation from something that was causing them stress to something that makes them happy! I’m glad I can take that burden away from them. It’s also so personal to invite me into your home and show me your mess, and I never take that for granted. It can be emotional for a lot of people, and I love being able to work with them through it and help make their lives easier.” For more information on Organize with Joy, LLC, visit www.OrganizeWithJoy.com
THE HOME ISSUE • 59
10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD SHOP VINTAGE AND SECOND-HAND FOR HOME GOODS story by willow wright
If you’re not already, now is the perfect time to start shopping vintage and second-hand for your home. There are so many benefits to shopping second-hand that will benefit both the earth and your wallet.
1. MORE SUSTAINABLE
There’s no greenwashing here, buying second-hand is 100% more sustainable than buying new. It keeps items out of landfills and it saves valuable resources that are needed to create the same item that you would have purchase new.
2. LEADS TO A CIRCULAR ECONOMY
The life cycle of products is greatly extended when we choose to reuse, refurbish, repair and refurbish as long as possible. Think about the life-cycle of goods as a donut instead of linear. We should be preserving and passing items down to future generations instead of creating a straight line from manufacturing plants to eventual landfills.
60 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
3. FORM OF SELF-EXPRESSION
Have you been thinking of switching up your style a bit? Buying used is an economical way to experiment with new colors, textures, and furnishings before you commit to a total design makeover.
4. SAVES MONEY
This one is a no-brainer, used items usually come at a cost that is a fraction of the price of the new version. You can also make money by selling items that no longer serve you and contribute to the circular economy
5. BETTER QUALITY
It’s an age-old adage that “things aren’t made like they used to be” and it’s true. Older items were created in an era of quality over quality and were built to stand the test of time. There’s a reason why antiques exist and fast furniture from big box stores will not stand the test of time.
6. SUPPORTS LOCAL ECONOMY
Whether you’re shopping a charity-based thrift shop, the independently owned vintage shop in your
neighborhood or someone posting second-hand goods on a local platform, the dollars spent are staying in the local communities and not off to a big box corporation.
7. CREATES A UNIQUE AND CURATED HOME
You are guaranteed to have a home of your own when you shop used. The chances of having the same art and decorations as your neighbor are slim to none. Plus, you’ll have many conversation starters to enjoy with friends and family.
8. MAKES FOR GREAT GIFTS
Looking for the perfect gift for someone? Hitting up thrift, antique and vintage shops is a great way to find unique items that remind you of that special someone. Maybe it’s a souvenir from her hometown or a set of whiskey glasses for his new home bar. You’re sure to find the perfect gift if you keep an open mind!
9. NO TAX ON LOCAL TRANSACTIONS
While this doesn’t apply to shopping local merchants, when you choose to shop yard, garage and some estate sales you won’t be charged tax. Keep those extra dollars in your own pocket and support a local business instead.
10. FOSTERS A SENSE OF WONDER
Here’s the biggest benefit, it’s fun!!! Spending time wandering the vintage and antique shops allows for the thrill of the hunt. You may not even have an item in mind and often an item just speaks to you. Whether it conjures up memories of your childhood and grandparent's home or it’s something you’ve never even seen before, enjoy the process of letting your eyes and imagination wander. And remember, buying used and second-hand doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing game. Each time you choose to purchase used, you’re making a difference in the future of our earth and saving quality pieces for the next generation. Willow Wright is the owner of Urban Redeux, a vintage home décor shop in Alexandria. Currently located at 8742 Cooper Road, follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @urbanredeux and visit her website at www.urbanredeux.com
THE HOME ISSUE • 61
story by andrew gates | photography courtesy of nova parks
Nestled in a quiet residential Arlington neighborhood, Upton Hill Regional Park is a family-friendly outdoor activity destination. Operated by NOVA Parks, Upton Hill Regional Park is already home to walking paths, a batting cage, a food hall, a waterpark, and a mini-golf course. The park's offerings will soon expand to include an allnew vertical adventure course, Climb UPton! The equivalent of a four-story building, Climb UPton is a custom-built superstructure that guests can freely explore as they traverse 90 interconnected obstacles spanning three levels. The structure has something to offer for guests of various physical abilities with easy, medium, and hard obstacles.
When guests arrive at the Climb UPton course, they are suited in a harness, then given a quick safety and "howto" tutorial. After the tutorial, guests ascend the course from one of two staircases. Once in the structure, guests freely choose which path to take or not take. Paths are better taken individually and groups are discouraged from traversing the course together. This allows for a tremendous degree of customization so that every participant can follow the path they want. Easier obstacles are found mostly on the lower levels, while more challenging obstacles are found mostly on the upper levels. Easy obstacles include stepping across boards or zipping across a line. Difficult obstacles can be
62 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
challenging to traverse and, if done properly, could leave your arms and shoulders sore the next morning. With 90 total obstacles, there is something for everyone. Notable obstacles include zip lines, rock walls, moving rings, and a freefall. The idea to build a vertical adventure course in Upton Hill Regional Park came from a NOVA Parks Board of Directors plan as far back as 2010. It was one of several initiatives developed at the time. "Other [initiatives] included a redevelopment plan for Occoquan Regional Park, which was completed several years ago and includes the River View Events Center and Brickmakers Café, and a Holiday Light Show at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, which is now going on 10 years as a popular
holiday destination for over 75,000 visitors annually," says Chris Pauley, Director of Park Operations at NOVA Parks. Other new projects in Upton Hill Regional Park include a new playground, a small pavilion with walking paths, and improvements to the parking lot. Climb UPton itself is fully constructed, but NOVA Parks is still working to complete the nearby admissions building and hardscape around the feature. The course is expected to open to the public sometime this summer, although an exact date has not yet been set. A perfect choice for a family-friendly outdoor summer adventure, tickets will cost $39 to $49 per person with promotional pricing and group sales opportunities offered.
THE HOME ISSUE • 63
Lee-Fendall Wall Has Fallen Down story by megan ritter
On Saturday, June 12, 2021, a 70-foot portion of the original brick wall surrounding the Lee-Fendall House Museum’s historic garden collapsed. The wall dates to c.1800 and has been an integral strand in our historic fabric, telling an important part of Lee-Fendall's story and of Alexandria's history. It is perhaps the most prominent feature of the property to remain unchanged since its earliest days and has stood as a testament to the contributions of enslaved workers who are believed to have built it - along with much of Alexandria's early architecture. Museum staff began exploring the wall’s condition this spring, working with specialists in structural engineering and masonry who took baseline measurements and were developing a plan to monitor the wall’s condition. Its collapse followed a night of torrential, flooding rain on Friday, June 11th, which museum staff believes allowed the soil beneath to give way. Now, Lee-Fendall is working closely with Alexandria's Board of Architectural Review and with local firms specializing in historic masonry preservation on a multi-
64 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
phase plan to repair the wall. The board and staff are committed to doing the repairs correctly, according to historic preservation standards. This will be a multi-year project, costing at least $125,000 for a process that includes stabilizing the remaining wall; cleaning and storing the historic brick; working with engineers to design a new underground footing and repair specifications, and working with preservation masons to reconstruct the fallen parts of the wall from the original brick and in its original Flemish bond design. Volunteers have constructed a temporary wall to close the gap, so the property is open for tours. The garden remains open for free public access whenever the museum is open (generally Wednesday-Saturday 10am4pm and Sunday 1pm-4pm. During the pandemic, local families frequently used the garden for picnics, play dates, and other leisure activities. The Alexandria community has already risen to the challenge of repairing the wall with enthusiasm and generosity, helping Lee-Fendall raise over $2,000 in the first 48 hours of our fundraising campaign. Donations are being taken at www.mightycause.com/story/ RepairTheWall. Learn more about the property’s history and the museum’s mission at www.LeeFendallHouse.org.
IF YOU ARE READING THIS... PRINT IS NOT DEAD. Let’s face it. There’s just to much clickbait out there and social media is too saturated with businesses trying to share their messaages. This is why print continues to be THE MOST TRUSTED form of advertising available. Email us today to discuss your custom print + digital advertising package!
The Healthy Minds Team has safely returned to the ofﬁce. We are now offering in-person appointments once again. However, we want you to know that you are welcome to take your time. If you are not yet ready to rejoin us at the ofﬁce, our Telehealth appointments are still available to you because all aspects of your wellbeing remain our top priority!
To book your in-person or Telehealth appointment, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-845-6940
THE HOME ISSUE • 65
sip & shop photography by kellie gunderman
Glynn Jones Salon & Spa recently joined forces with their sister company, BritBoss, and Dani Sauter (Blonde in the District) to host a pop-up event featuring inclusive sized fashion. Guests were treated to champagne, makeup/skincare tutorials from Abeja and, of course, style advice from Dani, herself!
66 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE
Old Town, New Style PPD FREE, AMMONIA FREE NATURALLY DERIVED INGREDIENTS LIKE ALOE VERA, HONEY, SHEA BUTTER AND POMEGRANATE
we only use
GLYNN JONES SALON 720 KING ST. ALEXANDRIA I 703-549-4000 Book also online at www.glynnjonessalon.com Follow us and see our styles!
glynn jones salon master hair stylists & barbers
hairby@glynnnjonezzz I makeup@sylviastyless I email@example.com model@agnesartych I model@hayleysforsblom
THE HOME ISSUE • 67
OLD TOWN REXMGT.COM
115 King Street • Alexandria, VA 22314 • 703.836.8404 • www.landinibrothers.com 68 • VIP ALEXANDRIA MAGAZINE