When Lois Weeks left her hometown of Cumberland to live and work in Baltimore, she would beat the city blues by getting her “mountain fix” every few weeks, visiting with friends or staying at her family’s cabin at Deep Creek Lake. She had often said that if she ever started her own business at Deep Creek, that would be the perfect name for it. After earning her master’s degree in Finance and 15 years in the corporate world, she left to pursue her passion for jewelry and over the years built a successful wholesale jewelry business. After traveling the road to Western Maryland for many years to help her aging parents, she and husband Roland made the Deep Creek area their home late last year and her dream of providing others with “A Mountain Fix” at long last became reality in late December 2020.
Located at The Fort in McHenry, A Mountain Fix boutique offers a large variety of curated items — from sterling silver jewelry to home decor and more. Since opening last December, she and Roland have developed a unique offering of goods, things they would have in their own home or purchase as gifts for others. They are exclusive dealers for several lines and offer a variety of locally sourced products as well.
One of the first things you notice when entering the shop are the beautiful showcases of sterling silver jewelry, Lois’ main passion. After leaving the corporate world, she started a wholesale jewelry line called Silvergirl Sterling. She works with some of the world’s most well-known silversmiths from Mexico, Thailand and Israel to provide clients with unique and quality pieces. Before Covid, Lois and Roland made yearly trips to Taxco, Mexico, which is widely regarded as the silver capital of the world. There, they met and now collaborate with third generation silversmiths, many of which are family and women owned businesses and are honored to offer their workers a fair wage for their work.
Over the years, she has wholesaled at national trade shows across the East Coast and has sold at local retail jewelry shows and festivals (including Autumn Glory for the past 10 years). Over time, she built up her wholesale business to include over 50 gift shops along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts and several Caribbean islands. As Covid made travel impossible, she started an online retail shop called Bonita Beach Jewelry (https://bonitabeachjewelry.com) but the dream had always been to expand and have her own retail shop.
Silvergirl Sterling features an eclectic line of jewelry featuring a variety of stones in nautical/ beach, garden, pet and equestrian themes. You’ll find no mass-produced jewelry here. All her jewelry is hand crafted, real sterling silver, and purchased directly from the artisan themselves. “I have one of the largest collections of sterling jewelry right here in the heart of Deep Creek Lake,” says Lois. “From simple posts to one-of-a-kind statement pieces, we have styles for everyone.”
A Mountain Fix, however, is more than just jewelry. It contains many fun and funky items for every member of the family, including your pet! Kids will love the adorable Bearington Bear collection of stuffed animals along with fun puzzles and games. No children’s room would be complete without one of their Bluetooth nightlights, which can provide soft lighting AND play soothing music as your child goes to sleep.
If you are looking for some new items for your home decor, A Mountain Fix has what you need — from elegant glass hurricane lamps to fun wooden signs that can be customized with your home’s name and nautical coordinates, or “vanity plates” for your home as Roland calls them.
“We looked for decor that we would put in our own home,” says Lois. One of their most popular items is their indoor/outdoor mini fire pit that is fueled by household isopropyl alcohol. The cement fire pit produces a mesmerizing flame that lasts about 45 minutes on a fill and looks beautiful as a home décor piece. Make sure to pick up one of their gourmet s’mores kits to use with it, which can be made from the comfort of your own home…indoors or out!
Some of the many treasures in this shop include a couple of lines of very unique candles including Lucid Liquid Candles, which are everlasting candles that use clean burning, refillable liquid paraffin, and come in a variety of beautiful colors and designs, including elegant tapers that are perfect for weddings and holiday meals. They also have Woodfire Candles with wooden wicks and unique smells like Tobacco & Honey, Lavender Lemon and Fern Moss & Amber. For fall and winter, scents include Warm Flannel, Snow Day and Cozy Cabin.
They are the area’s exclusive retailer of Maryland’s own Route One Apparel which features fun Maryland gear with everything from Maryland themed hats, pillows, aprons, and leggings. They sell an incredibly unique Maryland Tote as well. Many of their suppliers are friends they have made at various trade and craft shows throughout the region. They are pleased be able to source local products and support other small businesses.
They also have a nice gourmet food selection which features many local items including BaseCamp Coffee out of Cumberland, MD, maple syrup and candies from nearby Sleepy Hollow Farm, peppers in sauce from MJs MountainMade from Fairmont, WV and organic Bloody Mary Mixes from Virginia. Local honey comes from Allegany County’s Bright Side Farm and is a featured ingredient in some flavors of small batch Western Maryland Lemonade also made in Cumberland.
A Mountain Fix also sells fun stickers, unique mugs, and roomy totes…perfect for a day at the lake or the beach. They have an adorable line of ceramic magnets, hanging decor and trinket dishes that come from Maine and they are also the exclusive area retailer for Buddy By the Lake clothing. Animal lovers have to check out this fun collection of sweat and t-shirts which supports several service dog organizations. On a customer suggestion, the shop also carries fun gifts for pets including cute chew toys and gourmet animal treats.
Other decor items include wooden wall art from a small family business in Raleigh, NC and laser-etched maps of the lake handmade by a Garrett County native. Another new product coming soon is handmade bath and body products from Three Sisters Farm, and the Weeks will also be featuring their fresh flowers and baked goods on weekends.
For your party side, you will find a cool selection of alcohol related games, including a unique take on Jenga as well as fun beer bottle holders and koozies and a beautiful line of Maryland themed wine holders and coasters.
“I am delighted that we are small enough to be able to embrace other small businesses, but large enough to offer a variety of products,” says Lois. The shop will be open from Tuesday – Sunday throughout the summer but the couple hopes to remain closed on sunny Mondays so they too can enjoy what the area has to offer as well. “We’re calling it Mountain Fix Mondays and we will share our adventures on social media,” says Roland. Be sure to like their Facebook and Instagram pages so you can participate in the adventure….and see all the new items that are arriving weekly. Stop by The Fort soon and get your “Mountain Fix” and welcome Lois and Roland to the area.
Written by Linda Carr