From a young age, Virginia Weathersby was an interior decorator. At 14, she would take cabs from her Jackson home to Seabrook Paint Store on North State Street to pick out wallpaper for a redo of her own bedroom.
Decorating brings her back to Fondren all these years later with a new venture designed to inspire and assist decorators young and old. “I’m calling it ‘PAINT’”, she says from her Woodland Hills Shopping Center boutique in the former Cindy Walsh Interiors location.
And that’s exactly what she will sell: a line of European pre-mixed paints called Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. Available in 28 shades of French and Swedish influenced color, the VOC-free paint is water-based and simple. “It’s for everybody”, the Jackson native says. “There’s no need to strip, sand and prime. A mom can drop the kids off at school, tear the bed down, paint it, and have it all back together before she picks them up in the afternoon”.
For the last seven years, Weathersby has taught and inspired at her Southern Institute of Faux Finishing on Old Fannin Road and has carried the Sloan line of paints since last July. “We were the first in the United States to bring it here”, she tells us. “But I thought it needed its own store”.
So why Fondren – and why now? Weathersby says her friend Cindy Walsh carried some of the paints until she vacated that spot earlier this year and that the line’s originator, Annie Sloan, once visited from England. “Annie agreed that Fondren was the perfect place for it”, Weathersby says. When the space became available, Weathersby envisioned a quaint, European inspired, ‘homey’ feel and says this neighborhood, where revitalization is taking place and money is being spent to make it better, was the right location.
PAINT will offer quaint workshops with afternoon tea or wine tastings, and, a familiar face. Cindy Walsh shopkeeper Gayle Ross will be a part of the new boutique. “She came with the building”, Weathersby kids. If all goes according to plan, Fondren will be ‘painting’ August 15.
PAINT is located at 667 Duling Avenue. Their number is 601.919.3289.