Dawn Nay, owner of Rule Forty-Two, moved here from Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and two children in the summer of 2010.
When asked why the name, Rule Forty-Two, Dawn explains that it originated from the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland – and basically means the same as “because I said so.” It is a phrase she uses with her children when necessary! I think that is a super creative and cute name for her business. Dawn loves antique and vintage furniture “and things,” and says they were more difficult to come by in Las Vegas than here in Staunton.
Rule Forty-Two specializes in CeCe Caldwell’s paints, a U.S. based product. These paints are chalk and clay based, and VOC free. They are also a fume free, “green” product that comes in 36 shades! Dawn especially likes the fume free part, as it allows her to paint in her store during down hours. She also sells beautiful and fun antique furniture that she herself has made over with her paints (these pieces are a must see!), a variety of local items, such as scarves, jewelry and soaps, and decorative, whimsical (yet practical) items, like vintage door knobs and drawer pulls.
For fifteen years she has been refinishing furniture independently. Giving old, tired items a new look is a passion for Dawn. She began actually thinking about turning this passion into her own small business about three years ago. She first began branching out in Staunton by putting some of her pieces in a storefront window on Beverley St. In July of 2012 within a year of her first Beverley St. display, Rule Forty-Two, located at 12 Byers St. in the downtown historic Wharf District was born! Dawn shares that her relationship with the Staunton Creative Community Fund was a huge influence in helping her to be more focused with her business plan, and assisting her in getting the plan “out of her head” and onto paper. They also helped her with her market research and encouraged her to talk to other local business owners with the same interests.
Dawn finds that her greatest challenges in owning her own small business is being moderate when making purchases for the store, finding the right things and the right “fits” for the shop, listening to suggestions from others and knowing what people want.
Her greatest joys are when people come into her shop and feel inspired by her work, or appreciate a piece she has purchased or refinished for the store. Whether they buy anything or not, the thought that she may have inspired them to go home and re-do their own home is payment and reward enough.
Each month, Rule Forty-Two offers a workshop that will help you create a little something for your own place. Dawn or other local artisans will guide you in creating a home decor item, gift or accessory. Some workshops will have a furniture focus and allow you to experiment with the CeCe Caldwell’s paints.
You can reach Dawn at firstname.lastname@example.org OR 540-255-8346.