Written by Lia Hobel
Take care of your body and feel healthier. The formula to feeling (and looking) your best seems simple enough to follow. Sometimes it’s a longer road to understand a fundamental concept, but for Addy Melvin, the co-owner of The Village Backsmith and Wellness Shoppe, it began in adolescence. “I grew up organic,” shares the 54-year-old, musing that customers shopping at the Middleburg wellness boutique often mistake her for quite younger. Her explanation is simple. “I’m very careful about what goes in and what goes on my body.”
Melvin takes every opportunity to share her wisdom gained through life experiences. “My youngest daughter was born gravely sick and allergic to everything,” recalls Melvin, noting that she had to extensively research naturopathic along with mainstream medicine to resolve life-threatening issues. Doing so helped her daughter come off life support and live a normal life like Melvin has been able to do, even though “I am deathly allergic to most medications, almost all antibiotics,” she explains.
Melvin describes herself as being “passionate” about teaching customers of natural alternatives and sees herself dedicating more time to the shop and even building a healing sanctuary down the line. “Anyone that’s known me my whole life says, ‘You create empires,’” she says with enthusiasm.
Melvin, native to Bellevue, Washington, graduated high school at 16 and completed her master’s by 20. She’s worked in the past as an internal auditor and forensic accountant for large corporations, such as SanMar. Melvin also co-founded a brokerage firm, Gulf Coast International Properties, in Boca Grande and Naples, Florida. However, the real estate aspect of her life has recently been mostly about putting the pieces back together. She had properties destroyed by Hurricane Irene and has been splitting her time going back and forth. “For over a year I’ve been trying to rebuild everything,” she laments, knowing now especially not to take anything for granted.
Regardless of her traditional big business work, it’s the holistic endeavors that bring her the most joy, and not just for people but animals, too. “It’s the path I want to stay on,” Melvin says.
Rescuing and applying natural remedies to animals has always been of importance to Melvin. She has eight horses, six dogs, two cats, and four guinea pigs. “When I rescue, I try to take the sickest animal, or the horse that’s going to ship for slaughter or the dog that would be euthanized.” By providing proper nutrition and “basically rebuilding their immune system,” Melvin and her hoard have had amazing results. The horses she owns range from 3 to 28 years old. Melvin says, “They’re so healthy,” with their fascia being like butter. “My osteopath comes out and she says, ‘Your horses — my hands just melt into them,’ and she says, ‘It’s definitely the nutrition.’”
Everything in the shop is a testament to Melvin’s triumphs with the health of animals and people. Her products do change throughout the year to cater to the needs of customers. There are gluten-free food options, organic skin care, vegan food, body lotions, candles, merchandise that makes great gifts, and more. “I just try to offer things that help feed the body, help you keep your body healthy, and keep your immune system up. That’s really your biggest tool.”
The boutique wellness shoppe shares its building space with Dr. Andy Smith, a chiropractor and owner of The Village Backsmith who’s been in Middleburg for quite some time. Joining their businesses developed organically, according to Melvin, as the two have been “best friends for a long time.” They started in 2018 together and moved in 2021 to their current location on 4 West Federal Street. The partnership is beneficial for customers as chiropractic and nutritional needs go hand in hand.
“There are so many people in town that rely on what I have,” says Melvin. “A lot of them say it’s changed their life.” ML
The Village Backsmith Wellness Shoppe
4 West Federal Street
Middleburg, Virginia 20117
Published in the January 2024 issue of Middleburg Life.