WARRENTON — Janet Mossman, nearing the end of her decadeslong career in health care administration, considered what would come next.
While she wanted to travel, Mossman also felt she was too young to completely retire.
“I thought, why not do something I’m really passionate about?” she recalled.
Earlier this month, Mossman opened up Rae’s Quilt Shop in the Discovery Lane Retail Center, just off U.S. Highway 101. Her daughter-in-law, Loralee Mossman, has partnered with her to help run the shop.
“I am always game for my mother-in-law’s adventures,” Loralee Mossman said. “I jumped right in.”
The quilt shop sells high-end fabrics, supplies, notions and more. The Mossmans, teaming up with local quilters, will soon offer courses for quilters of all skill levels.
“People will come in and they don’t know where to start and we can certainly meet them wherever they are on their path and help them progress,” Janet Mossman said.
Since opening, they have sought to provide a relaxed, welcoming and personable experience for customers.
“We wanted to have a gathering place for people to come hang out and learn to quilt, share different things they have learned over the years,” Loralee Mossman said.
Both women have kept other jobs while opening the shop. Loralee Mossman runs the store Wednesdays and Thursdays, while her mother-in-law works Fridays and Saturdays.
But with the customer flow exceeding expectations, they are considering if they should add more hours to the schedule.
“It has been pretty amazing because we thought it would be crickets for at least the first couple months,” Janet Mossman said.
The pair noted their appreciation for the quilting community on the North Coast.
“There has been a huge community involvement and if there is one thing that we’re really focused on because we’ve always been community-minded, is to have this be a community shop,” Janet Mossman said.
Pointing to the stress of working in health care through the coronavirus pandemic, Janet Mossman said running the quilt shop has been a good way to decompress. Loralee Mossman said she has enjoyed chatting with customers and helping them pick out fabrics.
A grand opening will be held on Feb. 3.
While quilting has historically been for older people, Janet Mossman said, they are starting to see an increase in younger quilters since the pandemic. Loralee Mossman pointed to the value that quilting can provide as a hobby and the lessons it can teach.
For Janet Mossman, who started at age 5, quilting has held a special significance in her life.
Growing up in Brownsmead, she recalled fond memories of quilting on a treadle with her grandmother and great-grandmother — when quilts were made more for necessity.
She called back to a time when her niece was being hospitalized on a regular basis for a medical condition. Because she was anemic, Janet Mossman made her a quilt, designed with butterflies and inspirational quotes, that was wide enough to wrap around her and keep her warm.
“It was really special between the two of us — that is what quilting is all about,” she said. “Quilting is about the specialness of it and passing them down through generations.”
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