The Phoenix was born on August 1,1977. It started way before that time with an idea, a young college girl, and an adventurous spirit. While traveling in South America after graduation from UVA, I began collecting artisan products such as Panama hats, alpaca sweaters, and handicrafts from the local markets. With a love of fashion instilled in me by a grandmother who was an a accomplished dressmaker and a very creative mother, I had learned to sew at an early age and had fine-tuned a love of textiles and design.
With this background I had a keen eye for spotting valuable and interesting offerings from the local markets held in the villages of Ecuador and Peru. When I returned to Charlottesville, what began as a lark evolved into a thriving boutique that grew more popular year after year.
I began traveling the world looking for unique fabrics and fashions. First to Mexico to purchase Mexican wedding dresses and then to Bali where I brought back lovely batiks. The store sold homemade soaps and shampoos made by friends, we had bird cages with singing canaries and we were totally enthralled by the fun of it all. For many years I continued traveling the world and brought back treasures and sold them in the store. When importing became too time-consuming, I began to go to New York City to buy at the trade shows there. I was only 25 when I started this adventure. After 43 years I can say that it has been a wild ride. When people ask what i do, I tell them I am part professional gambler and part therapist. When they ask me why I do what I do, I tell them I want to make the world a more beautiful place, one customer at a time.