Talk to me Tuesday : I-79 Treasure Hunt
Updated: Aug 5
Let’s be real. One of the most enjoyable things I get to do as a grown up is connect with people who light my fire.
And that’s exactly what I was able to do a couple weeks ago when I took the once-all-too-familiar drive on 79 from Charleston to Morgantown. With sights set on Mountaineer country, my travels usually led me North for school or sporting events - rarely have I ever veered from the chartered course.
Until now. The stops on this journey led me to places and people I’d never experienced before (and vow that it not be the last they've seen of Carrie McClanahan).
These places are unique and these people are both are rockstar women business owners who have taken their love of state and fellow artisans to heart - hearts that are like mine.
GEM #1 : CURATED
I had never before taken Exit 99 to Weston - but that was before I heard about Curated. Supporting local and shopping small are the roots from which her business has grown. Her mission is one close to my heart.
“We moved to Weston and wanted to help contribute in a positive way to a walk-able downtown community,” owner Anna explained. “We really love the idea of bringing in more local artisans and makers products to the consumers in this area and thus became Curated.”
The shop includes small business owners and crafters from across the state in the shop along 2nd Street. They feature over 50 local WV small businesses, even buying from and about a dozen from her own town.
The project that started as a “we need to find something to do with this building” has quite clearly turned into a city staple that folks from all over can't seem to get enough of - including myself.
Unfortunately Anna and my paths didn’t cross during the visit but I hope, next time.
GEM #2 : HOOT AND HOWL
With Morgantown being my final destination, I would’ve been amiss had I not visited Hoot & Howl - owner Stephanie was warm, vibrant and kind - very excited to learn more about WVWMM and even chat about potential future opportunities (I love a good kindred spirit meet-up).
Her store is one I’ve also been wanting to visit for some time, with over 100 featured artisan vendors from across the country with everything from food and jewelry to clothing, furniture, vintage, men's & kiddo goods.
We had a fantastic conversation about Morgantown - and how it has become somewhat of an artisan hub thanks to supporters like Main Street Morgantown.
"We're really lucky to have [Main Street Morgantown]," Stephanie said. "it's a national organization...working to preserve and promote economic vitality in historic commercial districts."
I’m excited to see where this new connection takes The Market and women makers all up and down I-79. Looking forward to many more trips north.
And the ACTUAL reason for my trip? I had scheduled a meeting with a lady who I have admired for years. I’ve realized there’s just too much to unpack here so this will have to be a “to be continued…” but believe me when I say, this lady is no stranger to WV Living.
😉 stay tuned.
Carrie McClanahan, M.A.
Owner & Founder of WV Women Made : Market & Junior Market and Owner of mcclanaHANDMADE