The couple had received word that a throng of women in caftans were going to be buzzing in, bright red wigs of curls atop their heads, bidding each one a hearty “Hello, Helen!” and “Goodbye, Helen!” as they drifted in and out.
The ladies in bright flowing and flowery caftans, big bobbles of costume jewelry draping from ears and wrists, were there for a Mrs. Roper Romp. The flash mob of color and spirited banter is a bar hop that pops up in various towns, all inspired by the indefatigable Helen, wife of the landlord in the 1970s-era Three’s Company television show.
Fauxxy Fur, a shop of handmade hats, feather fringes for modified cowboy boots, vintage World War II woolen military jackets, fur coats unearthed from steamer trunks, isn’t a bar. But it was a destination just the same. The Cashes offered up a little complementary spiced cider as the first stop on the Mrs. Roper Romp for the night.
Jac donned a red wig and, in place of a caftan, a vintage tapestry fabric from the ‘60s, upcycled from a maxi skirt. Jac passed out hugs and cider as the women gathered, lifting hands to feel fabric and admiring the hats.
It’s just what Jac, and her wife Jill, envisioned for their space when they began remodeling the old warehouse on the southern end of Arlington’s Olympic Avenue a year ago.
Well, maybe two dozen women in red wigs and caftans wasn’t part of their vision, but they fit right in, just the same.
Jac and Jill wanted a place to showcase Jac’s art, connect with and create community, and help people feel special.
When they first renovated the 4,000 square foot space, with high ceilings, a skylight, and wood beams, they commissioned a friend and artist to create brackets branded with the Fauxxy Fur logo to hold the rod on which the impossibly-tall library ladder slides from one end of the storefront to the other. The shelving behind it holds rows and rows of hats. All made of natural fibers, Jac creates the hats in the back room where industrial sewing machines, hat forms, and magic are at her disposal.
Their attention to detail is impeccable. Jac has an eye for texture and color. The environs are complete with a jewel-toned mohair couch covered in a sheepskin throw. Across from that is an art deco coffee table, with swing-out drawers that hide barware. Nearby an alpaca throw drapes over a gold, vintage chair. Jac melts into the chair, her own hat tossed on the corner. The fluffy Maltese shop dog inherited from her niece is indistinguishable from the alpaca.