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Meet Your Neighbor: The Woolley Fox

Meet Your Neighbor: The Woolley Fox

Written by Lia Hobel | Photos by Callie Broaddus

Two local friends, who share an artistic bond, are the creators of the new boutique in downtown Middleburg that highlights local artisans within Hunt Country. Their hope is to change the connection between those artists and potential customers by providing space to showcase and shop all under one roof. 

Pam Woolley and Natalie Fox (hence the name of the establishment) met through a mutual friend who connected Fox with Woolley for equestrian lessons to reboot her equestrian life. “I used to ride in college and after a really bad fall I kind of needed some encouragement, and Pam turned out to be the best possible thing for my confidence,” says Fox. “She and I hit it off right away and became fast friends.”

Fox, an oil painter with an artist bloodline, and Woolley, known locally for her incredible soaps and bookmaking, knew too well the challenges for artisans to market their work. “We have talked for the last couple of years as we’ve gotten to know each other about how challenging it can be to find buyers and to market our work to sell,” explains Fox. “We always kind of poked around the idea of having our own store, but we didn’t have a way to secure premises in town easily. When The Pink Box came up for rent and we both found out, it was kind of a ‘are you thinking what I’m thinking’ kind of deal.”

Fox adds, “I have always wanted a brick-and-mortar store to showcase my work and sell the other things that I make as well, so this is all very exciting.” 

The Woolley Fox is a welcomed concept for Middleburg. Fox says they interviewed several local artists and makers to pull together the best arts and made crafts that they could bring into their store. They hope to be a new gift destination for locals and tourists alike, and be a positive reflection of the talented artisans across Hunt Country. “If we can’t find what we’re looking for locally, then we try to source women-owned small businesses and handmade goods from the United States that are also unique and curated,” says Fox. 

Within the space, customers can find pottery, leather goods, woodworking, woven items, drawings, paintings, candles, food, and “anywhere from whiskey shortbread to spiced sugared pecans, and local chocolate,” Fox notes. The Woolley Fox also carries a small selection of professional art supplies to bridge a gap for local artists who don’t have the time to drive from town to the supply store or can’t wait for an Amazon delivery. On hand, there are brushes, oil paints, watercolors, and some fine papers. 

When shopping at The Woolley Fox, customers will appreciate knowing that a portion of the profits will go to the Little Yellow Sofa Foundation nonprofit. “We have started to help single mothers in the area with small gap grants to pay bills,” explains Fox, who knows firsthand the hardships these women face. “They may not be able to make [it] month-to-month. I have been a single mother for 15 of my 18 years of motherhood, and the struggle is real. I feel like single moms kind of fall into a gray area a lot and get overlooked by people. We want to help ease some of the stress that comes with trying to make ends meet without a second income.”

Since opening in early May, the community has warmly embraced the boutique. As Fox says, “We are really excited about our little store. The reception from the community has been overwhelmingly amazing. We are humbled by all the well wishes and are thrilled to be a part of our little town in this way.” ML

The Woolley Fox
12 North Madison Street
Middleburg, VA 20117

Published in the June 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.

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