By Randy Arrington
LURAY, May 18 — In recent months, Luray’s downtown has seen yet another retail outlet evolve along Main Street to offer even more variety for tourists and locals alike with the opening of Curated by Leah.
With interesting lines of clothing, handbags, accessories, jewelry, books, candles, cards and more — each item on the shelves in Curated was hand-picked by owner Leah Pence.
The former member of the Luray Council opened up one of downtown’s newest variety retail shops in October, after initially launching the business in the Hawksbill Trading Co. — an incubator of several businesses that have outgrown the co-op space and migrated to Main Street. That list includes Nest and Hive and R.P. Arnold Jewelers a little further east on Main Street.
“This is exactly what we need to bring people to downtown,” Mayor Jerry Dofflemyer said during a ribbon cutting ceremony at Curated on Wednesday. The lifetime resident noted that the space once served as the headquarters for the Luray Police Department and the upstairs housed municipal offices. He even remembered the third floor once housing a dentist office.
About 50 community leaders and residents attended the grand opening on May 18.
“You should feel warm and fuzzy from all the love and support in all these people coming out today,” said Gina HIlliard, president of the Luray-Page County Chamber of Commerce.
Curated is managed by Fiona Malone, who stated the unique store “really does have everything.”
Clothing on Curated’s racks range from young children’s sizes to plus-size adults. Wide selections of household items and accessories are mixed in with Luray memorabilia. And the unique store also offers two unique entrances — one “under the sidewalk” of Vivian’s Flowers on the Main Street side, and a beautifully decorated garden setting at the rear entrance, which opens up to Ruffner Plaza along the scenic greenway and the Hawksbill Creek.
“When I met with Leah last year and she shared her vision, I thought this will be a great addition,” said Jackie Elliott, program director for the Luray Downtown Initiative.
Prior to the ribbon cutting, Pence thanked the Town and numerous friends who helped her along the way in getting the shop going.
“It is so fun to be welcomed into a community and to be part of a Main Street community,” Pence said. “None of this would have happened without a lot of sweat and tears… Thanks to all my friends who helped.”
Curated By Leah is located at 47 West Main Street in Downtown Luray and is open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day of the week, with a 5 p.m. closing on Sundays. For more information call (540) 742-7473 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page.