Written by Kaitlin Hill | Photos by Michael Butcher
Sherri Tweed of Middleburg Massage hardly needs an introduction. The Warrenton native has been in Middleburg since 1994 with only a short stint elsewhere.
For those who don’t know the story, Tweed landed in Middleburg fresh out of massage school. “I opened up the phone book and was looking for possible places to do massage,” she remembers. She found a chiropractor with plenty of room and the kind offer of, “You’re welcome to come work here when I’m not here,” Tweed explains. She continues, “That is how Middleburg came into my life. And it was the best thing to come into my life for my career and all the people I have met through the years.” She adds with a laugh, “Being a massage therapist is a very personal business. So, you get to know a lot of people pretty well.”
Though well known, Tweed’s loyal fanbase, Middleburg locals, and visitors to town are just discovering her latest endeavor: Middleburg Essentials, which opened in August 2022. “The more and more people that come in, they are like, ‘We didn’t know you were here,’” she shares. Her first retail shop is not necessarily an extension of Middleburg Massage, but there is an undeniable focus on all things comfort and wellness. Of the shop’s offerings Tweed says, “They are things that I love. I wanted to get things for self-care and that make you feel good.”
Visitors to the shop will find body scrubs, essential oil-soaked towelettes, soothing body washes, and soy candles — all the makings for a luxurious at-home spa day — many of which are sourced locally. “I order from a local company out of Warrenton called Simply Pure,” she shares. Tweed adds, “Their ingredients are quality … and I like working with them because they take my feedback.”
Tweed sells clothes, too. Since opening, she says her business has “evolved into resortwear, casualwear, and comfort clothes like caftans and kimonos.” She adds, “I try to think of all body sizes when I’m buying. … I’m trying to find something for anybody who walks in here.” Hats, headbands, and flowy blouses line the walls, as well. She concludes, “I wanted to put something in [town] that I feel is a little different for Middleburg.”
Though more than the soothing nature of her products, customers can feel good about where Tweed is sourcing them. “They are small businesses, fair-trade businesses, and each [product] will tell you the story of the business.”
Better yet, if a shopper can’t find what they are looking for, Tweed will track it down. “I’m always open to suggestions. If somebody has a particular, let’s say it’s this obscure or particular oil they want, I’ll start looking for it.”
When asked what has been her favorite aspect of running the retail outlet, Tweed says, “It is really nice to have the social connection with the people coming in,” noting that this is a change from her massage work where there typically isn’t much conversation. She adds, “It’s more personal because it is a small shop.”
Looking ahead, Tweed has her sights on a few short and long-term goals for Middleburg Essentials. In the year ahead, she’ll have the website up and running, allowing for online shopping. Expansion into a bigger space is her goal for year five. And in 10 years, she’d like to think about adding “another location where I plan to retire eventually. Three of my children live on the eastern shore in North Carolina.”
For now, Tweed can be found at 103 West Federal Street, Suite 115, Tuesday through Saturday, just in time to stock up on summer skin care and vacation essentials. As Tweed says, “There’s something for everybody!” ML
Published in the June 2023 issue of Middleburg Life.