Bringing Something New
In 1976, Pauline Sturgill and her husband founded Sturgill Mountain Homestead, a small family farm in Naugatuck, WV. Since then, the Sturgill family has offered a variety of farm-grown and handmade goods, and at present, they are home to a herd of sheep, a variety of poultry, a garden, a high tunnel (a structure designed for growing plants), and an orchard.
Now, Sturgill Mountain is bringing something new to downtown Williamson, with their opening of Old Mountain Field Fine Arts and Crafts, which is open now in The Collective. “Old Mountain Field Fine Arts and Crafts was established as an outlet for the Sturgill women, a highly creative group of mountaineers, to sell their creative products…it is an arts and crafts business.”
Through the years, Pauline and her four daughters have found the time to explore painting, antique furniture restoration, quilting, fabric arts, toy making, and more– an impressive list of talents to develop alongside caring for children, cooking, preserving foods, and more! While visiting The Collective one day, Pauline spoke to Maryann Lendearo, the owner of Maple Grove Books, and had the idea to start an arts and crafts business within The Collective.
She approached her daughters with the idea, and before long, they were approaching the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce about leasing space. The process, Pauline says, was “a little scary,” in that she and her daughters had to trust that they would make a profit. “Because we are committed to only selling handmade or hand-crafted products, it takes time to build an inventory,” She says. “Two of us work during the week, and the other has a big family, so we do what we can.”
Selling Work They’re Proud Of
It’s all worth it to be proud of the work they’re producing. “The products we produce are of excellent quality and while one might find similar things at a box store for a much lower price, the products purchased from us are made with care, high quality, and meant to last forever.”
While Sturgill Mountain Homestead has sold at the Williamson Farmers Market in the past, this is their first time with a non-seasonal business venture, and, according to Pauline, it’s really pushed them out of their comfort zone. They also have to maintain a social media page, to keep people informed.
Thus far, Pauline has enjoyed her experience with The Collective, and has enjoyed working with the other vendors, who have been “extremely welcoming.” For her, The Collective “represents what a lot of the Williamson community has been trying to achieve over the past few years.” In particular, she is excited that The Collective offers creatives a “classy place to showcase and sell their work.”
Most of all, she hopes that the creation of The Collective becomes “a watershed moment” when viewed in retrospect. “The community will see it as a time when Williamson finally empowered itself to take a leap of faith into the future.”
She has also enjoyed the opportunity to work with her daughters. “We’re creating something that we hope to share with their children down the road. In fact, I have several adult grandchildren who are artists and craftsmen, who I hope will join us in this venture.”
Check out the Sturgill Mountain Homestead Facebook group to keep up with everything the talented Sturgill family has to offer!
All photos from Sturgill Mountain Homestead and Old Mountain Field Arts and Crafts Facebook pages