LANDSTOWN – Valerie Goulart, 43, of Windsor Woods and Victoria Sgro-Konopka, 40, of Norfolk teamed up to open a shop at the Farmers Market about a month ago.
On the wall, they’ve got a framed fortune cookie fortune, from about the time the venture stared: “Investigate new possibilities with friends. Now is the time.”
The business combines Goulart’s Flutterby Soap Company, a line of handmade soaps and related products, and Sgro-Konopka’s Kahiau Crafts, an eclective mix of craft styles including work with paper, original photography, recycled materials and painted ceramic.
Their location is fitting because the Farmers Market helped bring them together.
“We met here,” Sgro-Konopka said.
“At the farmer’s market,” Goulart said.
“It was the Apple Festival craft show in September,” Sgro-Konopka said. “That was my first craft show here. We became fast friends.”
“We clicked,” Goulart said.
“She’s super easy-going,” Sgro-Konopka said. “My first thought, when we talked about becoming business partners, was that I wondered if she could handle me.”
“We even each other out,” Goulart said.
The products, too, are compatible.
“People might come in for soap and decide they need a present,” Sgro-Konopka said. “I think we play off each other.”
Goulart had sold her soaps during craft shows at the market for years, and the lines have been carried in other shops. Sgro-Konopka, involved in crafts since her teens, had a bakery and catering business in Hawaii. After moving to Virginia, she started doing craft shows here.
“We’re all hand made, all local,” Goulart said.