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Discover Western Prince William December 2018
14
Roughly two decades ago, Joanne Wunderly, now the
owner of home décor and gift shop The Things I Love,
was working in a pediatric practice. "I have always
enjoyed decorating and entertaining," she says. "I
was the one who planned all of the work parties and
decorated exam rooms for the holidays."
One fateful, snowy day, Joanne caught a ride home
with a coworker, who took a route she never used.
She caught sight of a "For Lease" sign in front of a
storefront and memorized the phone number.
The next day, she called to arrange to
see the room that was for lease. It
was part of a home that was built in
1875, run-down and small--just
300 square feet. But to Joanne,
that room represented a dream
that was beginning to grow
from a whisper to a shout in
her mind.
"I spent a few months
visualizing myself in
that space," she shares,
"and fi nally, the pros
outweighed the cons. I
realized I didn't want to
grow old wondering if I
could have opened my
own shop."
The Things I Love enjoyed
instant success, and little
by little, Joanne expanded
her business as other rooms
became available to rent. With
the help of her beloved husband
Curt, she worked to breathe new life
into each addition, fi lling a kitchen,
bedrooms, and a bathroom with gifts
and home décor that suggested the
room's original purpose.
Twenty-one years and two moves later, Joanne now
fi nds herself situated in a beautiful building in a prime
location on Center Street, running a business that has
been touted as a "must-see" for visitors in Historic
Downtown Manassas. (To complete her "home" concept,
this spot even has a lovely courtyard fi lled with garden
merchandise). "You don't realize it when it's happening
to you," she says. "You just take the risk, and you're not
necessarily convinced it's going to take off. But you take
that fi rst step, and you let your passion for the thing you
love take over."
Every holiday season, Joanne covers dozens of Christmas
trees with themed ornaments according to which room
they occupy. This year's overall theme is "Home for
the Holidays," and customers can peruse hundreds of
ornaments spread over 20 trees, each named after its
own theme. If you're looking for a gift for new parents or
grandparents, for example, just head to the nursery for
the tree covered exclusively in baby-themed ornaments;
for the policeman, EMTs, and military personnel on your
list, the "Christmas in the Neighborhood" tree should
have the perfect gift. There is even an "attic tree," as
~ Caitlin Scott
The Things I Love:
A Labor of Love
well as trees in the bathroom, kitchen,
front porch, and backyard. If a
classic collection of ornaments is
what you seek, then head to the
den, of course.
In addition to its thoughtful
seasonal home décor
throughout the year, The
Things I Love also offers
its customers jewelry and
women's accessories,
bath and body products,
baby items, and a tea
room that hosts weekly
afternoon teas featuring
gourmet soups and
pastries.
Besides bringing joy to her
life, owning her own business
has given Joanne another gift,
and that is the support of a loving
community. When she lost her
husband unexpectedly 18 months
ago, she experienced an enormous
outpouring of support. "It was
beyond anything I could imagine,"
she says. "I come in here and I'm
happy, even
if I'm in the worst of moods.
I'm so glad I never gave
it up, because I need
it more than it
needs me." For
those who have
lost a loved
one, Joanne
stocks cardinal
o r n a m e n t s ,
which are
believed to
represent a
message of
assurance
from loved
ones who
have passed.
To learn more, call
(703) 335-7711.
Joanne Wunderly
"CRAVING FOR TRAVEL": Dark
Horse Theatre Company; January
4-19, 7:30pm. Comedy direct from Off
Broadway. Tickets $20. Grace Church,
6507 Main St., The Plains.
703-537-1071,
www.darkhorseva.com.
ECLIPSE RESTAURANT, SPORTS BAR
& BILLIARDS: Events; Bands every
Friday & Saturday night, $5/Cover; DJ
Saturday night; NFL Ticket Sunday;
plus cornhole, poker & Karaoke. 5615
Wellington Rd., Gainesville
571-222-7221,
eclipsebarandbilliards.com.
ADHD PARENTS SUPPORT GROUP:
NOVA/DC CHADD; 2nd Thursdays,
7-8:30pm. Facilated by Neil & Linda
Swanson, ADHD Coaches. No fee.
Wegmans second level, 8297 Stonewall
Shops Sq., Gainesville
540-349-7862,
linda@baldwinridge.com.
PIED PIPER THEATRE: "Newsies";
Saturday, January 12, 2pm & 7pm,
Sunday, January 13, 3pm. Disney's
Broadway Musical. Hylton Performing
Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Cir.,
Manassas. Tickets:
HyltonCenter.org,
703-993-7759.
HOLIDAY CLOSINGS: Prince William
Public Library;
Saturday, December 22: All Neighborhood
Libraries
Sunday, December 23: All Libraries
Monday, December 24: Christmas Eve holiday
Tuesday, December 25: Christmas Day holiday
Sunday, December 30: All Libraries
Monday, December 31: All Libraries at 5pm
.
WINTER WONDERLAND TRAIN
SHOW: Center for the Arts; December
12-14: 5-8pm, December 15: 10am-5pm,
December 16: 10am-4pm. 9419 Battle st.,
Manassas.
www.manassascity.org.
WATERCOLOR CLASSES: McCall
Studio Gallery; Saturdays, January
12, 19, & 26, 1-3:30pm. 9409 Battle St.,
Manassas.To register:
www.eventbrite.
com/e/jan-watercolor-class-at-mccall-
studio-gallery-tickets-52757327587?aff=
ebdssbdestsearch.
WE SHALL OVERCOME: A
CELEBRATION OF DR. MARTIN
LUTHER KING, JR: Hylton Presents;
January 20, 2019, 3-5pm. $26. Created
by musical artist Damien Sneed. Includes
African-American music & culture with a
choir & instrumental ensemble. Hylton
Performing Arts Center, 10960
George Mason Cir.,
Manassas. Tickets:
HyltonCenter.org,
703-993-7759.
Community Bulletin
Board
A Public Service Feature
from
Discovery Publications