Perhaps the greatest treasure that any community can have are its people. Those faces and energies that make up the fabric of the place we work, play, pray and do business. That place that embraces our hearts as home.
There’s power in partnering – whether a marriage, business relationship, connection with church, family, community organizations or an idea.
We thought it would be fun and perhaps inspiring to feature a couple that embodies all that and more.
Living together and working together could be challenging for some couples. But not this vivacious duo.
Skip and Lou Price are the owners of Village Frameworks and Gallery on Main Street. They are also a longtime married couple, worship together and enjoy serene times of silence nestled in the woods waiting to catch sight of a deer. They’re both bow hunters.
Lou is a Culpeper native with a long family lineage. Her dad and uncle were dairy farmers. Skip hails from South Carolina. A mutual friend through church introduced them when Skip was managing frameworks operations and working as a photographer and Lou was getting her masters in geological surveying.
They clicked immediately and future plans included opening and operating their own business. Skip liked this area and, for Lou, she was rooted in family.
When Lou’s father died in a tragic tractor accident in 1992, family land became available to not only live in the area but have acres to eventually hunt.
Both feel that God intervened in their decision to settle and start a business in Culpeper.
“God put us here for a reason,” smiled Lou getting a little teary remembering her mother who suffered from Alzheimer’s. For 10 years, Lou was the primary sibling who attended to her mother and that was fine with her. She was glad that she had the flexibility – working with her husband – that afforded her the time.
Close to parents and family, Lou feels that meeting up with Skip was destiny.
“It’s like coming to work with your best friend,” laughs Lou.
Both offer ready grins and say almost simultaneously, “we never fight.”
Their business opened in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center but the move to Main Street in 1999 is where they have found real success.
Their shop is piled high with the tools of their trade – frames, mat boards, prints, conservation glass and fancy equipment like a computerized mat cutter that will quickly produce sharp and designer friendly corners.
Theirs is more than a place to get your favorite photograph, memento or print framed. They also have a gallery that rotates every three or four months featuring area artists like Lou Messa and more recently Pam Schiermeyer, a cartographer for the county planning office by day, and self-taught artist by night. Her colorful pen and ink folk art pieces will join others that are available for purchase.
It was a logical extension of their business to incorporate a gallery and certainly appreciated by the artists and community.
“A good match,” as Skip says.
Skip was a youngster when he fired his first gun.
“I’ve always hunted,” he said.
But scrounging through items at a yard sale some 10-12 years ago, he came across a left-handed bow and that began a new passion – hunting with bow and arrow. For Lou, her hunting choice is a cross bow.
“This is me…I love it,” Lou exclaimed.
The two get very excited when talking about their hunting exploits but it’s clear that snagging a buck isn’t their greatest pleasure.
On one trip, Lou could clearly see the looming shadow of a large buck approach but Skip was busy with equipment and missed his shot.
“I love watching the woods wake up,” says Lou recalling many mornings the two of them will watch the sun come up.
“We’ll see foxes and owls…another time a hawk swooping down…it’s just very beautiful,” smiles Lou.
Sitting in the woods together just further cements the bond these two have for each other, their work and their community.
Lou sits on the county planning commission and is active in several church activities at Culpeper Baptist Church.
Skip sits on the board of Culpeper Renaissance, Inc. and is a member of the Culpeper Ruritans.
“We try to be involved,” says Skip, “Culpeper has been good to us…we’re very much at home here.”
Over the years they’ve framed everything from a full-length wedding gown to twists of tobacco and rattlesnake skins. While the bulk of their customers come from Culpeper, they have fan favorites in Orange, Madison and Fauquier.
Another passion that both share is customer satisfaction.
With years of experience, either can help formulate a plan for that perfect frame that will enhance your special image or item.
One thing Skip and Lou don’t do together is share a vehicle.
Six days a week, the two drive to work separately.
“We come in at different times and it makes sense,” says Lou. Skip agrees.
But once united at their shop on Main Street, the chemistry happens and the two work side by side professionally and personally.
Love and respect for each other, love for their work, love for their community and a sense of humor and cheerfulness that is contagious.
Theirs is a rare gift and one that they recognize and cherish.
Skip and Lou Price are a very cool Culpeper couple. If you don’t already know them, stop by for a visit.
Located at 206 S. Main Street, #101, 540-825-7515.