Floors and More finds additions for extra space

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By John Barnhart

    Jann Sloper, of Floors and More, has been looking for ways to make good use of the extra space that they have since she and her husband, Bob, moved their flooring business to the 6C’s Shopping Center last year.
    Recently she got the idea of opening up space to three friends who have small businesses. She called them and they liked the idea. This also led to the decision to be open late for 2nd Fridays.
    “I just thought it would be a nice thing to do,” Sloper commented. “We can help each other. We are all small businesses.”
    She said that she knows these ladies, knows what they do and believes that they will all complement each other.
    Cynthia Ferrante, of Otter Peaks Alpacas, has a display of alpaca products, both yarn and items made from alpaca wool. The characteristics of the fibers in alpaca wool is different from that of sheep’s wool. This means that it isn’t itchy. It also has no lanolin. which makes it hypoallergenic. Ferrante notes that this lack of lanolin means items made of alpaca wool don’t have that “wet animal” smell when they get damp.
    “Everybody can wear this,” Ferrante said.
    She and her husband, Bob, have 21 of the friendly, wooly South American camelids on their Thaxton farm and shear them annually in the spring. Knitted items include scarves, hats and thick soft socks, including socks that are especially good to wear with hiking boots.
    All the yarn comes from the Ferrante’s own animals, so it’s genuine Bedford County alpaca yarn.
    “The hand-made scarves are from our animals,” Ferrante said.
    The Otter Peaks display takes advantage of Sloper’s century-old antique buggy.
    Danna Lowe, who also has a permanent display, does custom machine embroidery and can create and sew a business’ logo on items.
    “I do it in my home,” she said.
    “I keep it simple,” she added. “You call me up with an idea and I try to keep it simple.”
    That helps keeps costs down.
    Her display consists of samples of her work arranged around an antique sewing machine. It’s a foot powered sewing machine that originally belonged to here great-aunt. It also has an additional sentimental connection to Lowe.
    “This is the machine I learned to sew on,” she said.
    Lowe has years of sewing experience and has made items ranging from home decor to wedding dresses.
    “I’m 50-years-old and I have been sewing since I was seven,” she said.
    Lowe, who has a home-based operation, is on Facebook as Danna’s Designs.

    Jill Heller does not have a permanent display, but will be on hand for 2nd Fridays. Her business is called Jill’s Jewels. This got started when her friend, Jo Bell, went to lunch in Lynchburg and then wandered into a bead shop. That led to them taking a basic jewelry class and they became fascinated with wire wrapped jewelry. That’s what they do. They go to mineral and gem shows and buy minerals and semi-precious stones. Much of what they use has already been shaped and polished, but Heller is now doing some of her own polishing, smoothing and cutting. She has a special diamond saw that allows her to cut stones.

    “I name all my wraps,” Heller said. “I look for shapes that give me ideas for a name.”

    Heller is a Bedford native who grew up on Oakwood Street. Her husband, Don Heller, is the son  of Barbara Heller who, for several years, wrote “The Stripped House” column for the Bedford Bulletin. She liked to be known as “Granny Heller.”
    All these ladies will be at Floors and More on 2nd Fridays from 5 to 8 p. m. and will be available to explain what they do to people who stop by. There will also be light snacks.