Supplied photo courtesy of Melissa Wilson
Stella Wilson models a dress made by mother Melissa Wilson who makes children’s clothing for her daughter and to sell on Etsy.
From a thriving restaurant to an established stained glass artist, to a mother just starting her business, the different stages of success are explored by three local Cape Fear artisans.
Rx, Restaurant inhabits the old Hall’s Drug Store at the intersection of Fifth and Castle streets, and is quickly becoming the place to go downtown for fine local dining.
Chef and co-proprietor James Doss said, “You get to know the people you buy from, and you get the freshest stuff rather than getting produce that was cut three weeks ago in a warehouse. Produce used on a regular basis is not genetically modified.”
Many restaurants that buy from large companies don’t know where the produce comes from, which means it is likely grown from genetically modified seeds, or GMOs engineered to prevent the next generation of seeds from reproducing.
Instead, Rx uses local eggs, meat and produce from many farms nearby, buying from Mole Hill Farm, Cottle Farm, Heritage Farms, Motts Channel Seafood and more. Opened a few months ago, the restaurant has already become known for its southern style cooking with dishes like shrimp and grits, pork belly, and vegetable platters.
Back Yard Bliss
Like the ocean tumbling glass to create a beautiful piece, Linda Hudspeth uses glass to make her own art. She’s been making stained glass art for nearly 16 years and is still learning new ways to evolve. Recently taking pottery classes, she hopes to combine the two kinds of art. The process of taking stained glass and piecing bits together is long and complicated, but for Hudspeth, it’s relaxing. She has a small shed space in her back yard.
“I love my backyard studio; it’s like my personal cave where I can go be creative and leave the world behind,” she said.
Some of her art pieces include glasses, mirrors and mobiles. Hudspeth said her inspiration comes mostly from nature. She likes making abstract images rather than sticking to a pattern, but if someone can draw it, she can make it out of glass.
When it comes to unique clothing for little ones, Melissa Wilson has it covered. Her daughter sparked her interest in making baby clothes. Stella, now 18 months old, dons dresses with mustaches, huge buttons and Catrina style skulls, also known as sugar skulls. The sugar skull is based on an etching by Jose Guadalupe Posada for the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead. Wilson finds fabrics online, but also in Chapel Hill, Fran’s Sewing Circle here in Wilmington and in resale shops.
“My favorite thing to make so far has been sundresses. I just love mixing patterns and colors together to make cute little pieces that stand out in a crowd,” Wilson said.
She is new to the small business scene, but her plans to expand are in the works.
“I only buy enough fabric to make two or three max of each dress I design,” she said. “I make one for Stella, and then post the other on Etsy. So far, so good. I’m pretty new to this; I’m gradually trying new things with selling and marketing. I would like to find a local boutique that would carry my designs.”