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Women Owned Businesses

When Ann Black started 1st Choice Better Homes and Land in 1990, she was determined to build a business based on strong family values and a commitment to superior service for its clients. Working with an outstanding team that includes her daughters, Tricia Barnes and Penny Traber, Ann is dedicated to helping her clients find solutions for all of their real estate needs, one property at a time. The 1st Choice team is also dedicated to the community, working with a wide array of charitable and civic organizations to build a more prosperous, brighter future for the Fredericksburg Region.

Amy Johnson’s grandmother instilled in her a love of cooking. In honor of her grandmother, she opened Amy’s Café, located in the historic Falmouth Community on the banks of the Rappahannock River. Housed in a 200-year-old building that once served as a general store and, during the 1930s as a “drive-in” restaurant, Amy’s Café serves a perfect blend of comfort foods such to please any appetite. It is not a sports bar or a bistro but a cozy spot where there are no strangers, only friends waiting to be made.

A passion for antiques and a lack of space led Doris Rankin to start D’Marie’s Furniture and Antique Reproductions. After retiring from the federal government, Doris and her husband, Jim, started attending furniture auctions. They quickly acquired too much furniture for their home, and the idea for a business was born. Since her husband’s death in 1991, Doris Rankin has run the thriving business. D’Marie’s offers the finest array of American-made furniture and antique reproductions. Stop in for a look Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Gail Fernett decided to take the plunge by purchasing Landmarc Real Estate from her longtime business partner. Landmarc specializes in Community Association Management, working with communities from Fredericksburg to Northern Virginia. Integrity is vital to Gail, and she values that attribute within her team and the dozens of association members she works with. Her hands-on approach, providing personal as well as professional service, garners both respect and support from her peers. Both Gail and the Landmarc staff volunteer for a variety of charitable organizations.

Marie King has “fashion is in her blood.” The daughter of a New York City fashion designer, she graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology and began her career in 1978. She started out designing clothing and making window treatments at her home. She founded LoK Custom Fashions to teach children and adults all aspects of the fashion world. In addition to learning the basics of sewing by hand and by machine, students are taught how to cut and use patterns, fashion illustrations, pattern making, draping, textiles, art history and fashion. At the end of each school year, LoK hosts a Red Carpet Fashion Show, at which the students can display their accomplishments.

Priscilla Priebe focused on creating a team-oriented “people-first” environment when she co-founded Tulip Salon and Spa with her husband, Ralph, just about three years ago. The salon opened with a staff of three stylists and a manager and has now grown to a staff of 18 exceptionally talented employees. Priscilla and her team focus on continued education and development to keep current with new products, as well as the latest fashion trends and service techniques. Priscilla invests in the continued professional growth of her staff by supporting attendance at advance-level training programs in Washington, D.C.; New York and Atlanta. They are pleased to be part of the community and will continue to bring premier salon and spa services to the growing Fredericksburg Region.

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