Vermont-based glassware-maker Simon Pearce is opening a store at 721 King St., according to signs posted on the building. The space was formerly home to Papyrus, the greeting cards and gift wrap store.
The upscale retail shop will feature the company’s signature handblown glass items that run the gamut from drinkware and bowls to home decor and lighting. Handcrafted wood and pottery items are also part of the mix. The handmade items are often sought after as gifts for weddings, anniversaries and more of life’s milestones.
The 1,800-square foot store will be housed in a building that dates back to 1900, sandwiched between Five Guys Burgers and The Pita House.
Simon Pearce glassware is currently carried at local gift shops including Akseizer Design Group, Reunions and AnnSandra, according to the company’s website.
The company gets its name from its founder, Simon Pearce, now in his 70s, a glass-blower who moved from Ireland to Vermont in 1981 and lives there with his wife, Pia. He has said he moved away from Ireland after finding it frustrating to do business there.
Born in London, he grew up in Ireland, where he learned the glass-blowing craft. His father Philip was a potter. (Simon’s brother Stephen followed in their father’s footsteps.)
Quechee, Vermont, is home to the original Simon Pearce factory, where you can watch glass-blowing and pottery-making and dine at the Simon Pearce Restaurant and Mill (voted one of the top 100 brunch spots in the country by OpenTable). The mill rests on the banks of the Ottaquechee River.
Visitors to Mountain Lake Park, Maryland, (about a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Alexandria), can stop by the Simon Pearce Factory Outlet; public glassblowing demonstrations were halted during COVID-19 and remain on hold.
No word yet on an opening date for the new store in Alexandria.