Only a little over two years ago, Downtown Frederick was just a place Leslie Wallis and her sister Jacque Zoerner could meet for lunch and catch up on each other’s lives. Now, it is a place to call home for their families and their shared business, Sisters Corners Emporium (132 N. East Street). As Jacque and Leslie grew older and progressed in their separate careers, they realized that working for other people was becoming “less and less fun.” When they stumbled across the open shop on East Street, they just knew it was the place for them. “The idea to showcase and support women artisans became a mission and a goal that has been both rewarding and satisfying,” says Leslie.
At Sisters Corner Emporium, the goal to showcase and support women artisans is achieved. The shop offers unique and beautiful handmade goods by local women and fair trade groups, but the business does more for these women than act as a middleman for their products. “We support women in taking an idea, making it reality, and then we sell it for them for the whole world to enjoy,” states Jacque, adding, “We describe ourselves as part incubator, part gift shop, and part therapist’s office.”
Just as Leslie and Jacque foster creativity in the women artisans they support, the artists inspire them in turn. “The variety of art and artists that pass through our doors is amazing. The depths of the creativity that these women possess is astounding, and with a little support and encouragement, many of them grow as artists and stretch to try new things,” Leslie says admiringly.
When asked why they enjoy having their business in Downtown Frederick, the sisters attributed part of their success to the Downtown Frederick Partnership and other downtown businesses. Jacque claims, “The level of participation and welcome among the downtown businesses is great, and the Downtown Frederick Partnership does a great job supporting all of the businesses and keeping us all working together.”In case stopping by the store to see Leslie and Jacque isn’t enough for you, there will soon be more opportunities to see them working together. The sisters are involved in a musical group that will be performing in and around Frederick in the near future!