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Sunday, December 11, 2016

The "'Foxduck' - Vespertine's Favorites" Story

The interior of the new Foxduck store in downtown Lancaster, PA.
It was an ordinary day.  Just exited our country's oldest farmer's market, Lancaster Central Market, with my grand- daughter, Camille.  We came downtown to take a photo for another story I wanted to write and decided to stop at market to buy some "Long Johns"; a real sugary treat that is about six inches long and shaped like a finger.  
One of many designs from Ryan.
The market stand that I visit, Shady Maple, sells them with vanilla, chocolate or peanut butter icing on them and either regular or filled with cream. We purchased half a dozen and headed out the door.  The alley we entered had about half a dozen small shops that feature a variety of items from clothing to artwork.  Years ago I had my altered Polaroid prints for sale in The Tag Shop which was owned and run by a childhood friend, Barry.  After Barry died I placed my photos in a neighboring store, Strawberry & Company.  
One of the display racks illustrating the shirts for sale.
The owner, Wayne, recently retired and closed his shop.  I told Camille I wanted to see what was in the Strawberry & Company building so we entered the store from the rear of the store from the alley right outside the market.  As we walked through the rear door of the store I saw a familiar sight in the front of the store.  A four-color, one station silkscreen t-shirt printing unit.  For years, while teaching graphic arts in high school, my classes would make silkscreened t-shirts.  At first we used frames hinged on a work table until we were finally given a unit much like the one I am looking at right now.  
Rebecca  demonstrates how the machine works.
Walked to the front of the shop and began telling Camille how the unit works.  The shop had a few customers and I talked briefly to the young woman helping customers and told her I would be back.  Well, I visited again a few days later and spent time with one of the owners, Rebecca who told me about the store and the shirts they have for sale.  The store had only been opened a few weeks ago and was owned by Rebecca and her husband Ryan as well as Rebecca's brother, Josh.  
The Foxduck business card that
features their logo near the bottom.
Ryan is an artist and does the designing of the t-shirts. Name of the store is Foxduck, a rather unique name, which came from Rebecca's young daughter Vespertine.  Two of her favorite animals are the fox and duck so the name was a natural.  The store at 11 West King Street in downtown Lancaster sells Lancaster themed t-shirts as well as speciality shirts dealing with different aspects of Lancaster.  One shirt tells of Lancaster and Capital Day, September 27, 1777 when the Continental Congress met in Lancaster for the day.  The shop also features shirts that bear the logos of some of Lancaster Businesses.  When those shirts are sold, some of the money from the sale of the shirt goes back to that business.  I told Rebecca that I taught silkscreening and asked her if she would pose by her printing unit for a photo for my story.  She was glad to oblige.  
The t-shirt my daughter requested.
They silkscreen most of their own shirts at their home shop, but are checking about using a digital method in the future.  I told her my daughter saw the shirts she sells on her website and wanted the one that reminded her of the shirt that Joanna wears on the TV show "Fixer Upper."  The shirt must have been popular since it was out of stock, but Rebecca promised me I could have one by the end of the week.  The shop and it's owners are fantastic.  Here's hoping they make a big splash as a local business in downtown Lancaster.  They certainly offer a great product that is very well made. You can access their website from the business card I have posted here.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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