John and Karen Whitfield are the owners of Spry Creek, a store that features an eclectic collection of gifts and unique accents for people and their homes. They offer unusual items ranging from shipwreck jewelry to house numbers made in Spain. For 14 years, they have been a shopping destination for local artwork, jewelry, handmade soaps, candles and more.
Q: Have you always lived in Currituck or did you relocate here?
A: Karen grew up in Nags Head. John came to the Outer Banks to fish and never returned home to Danville, Virginia. Karen’s father, Jim Scarborough, was born and raised in Duck. He purchased the Corolla house and land in 1959 to use as a fishing and hunting camp. He later retired to Corolla when he sold his business (Scarborough’s Garage) and built a garage/workshop on the property. The boutique is in his converted garage and named after the creek that is located nearby.
Q: Why did you decide to start your own business?
A: I grew up living behind my parents’ business so it just seemed the natural thing to do when we decided to live in the old Corolla house. The property had been zoned general business so why not?
Q: What’s the best part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County?
A: Historic Corolla Village is a wonderful place to live and work.
Q: What’s the hardest part about owning and operating a business in Currituck County?
A: Our busy season is very short.
Q: What advice would you give to someone interested in starting a business in Currituck County?
A: Your summer is hectic, but you have the winter to recharge.
Q: What’s one thing you wish you could change about your business?
A: We would not change anything, but sometimes having a business and residence on the same property gets interesting.
Q: What do you most want people (in Currituck County and beyond) to know about you and your business?
A: In the off-season, Corolla Village is only a 30 minute drive from the 158/12 intersection. We offer a variety of handmade items that make fabulous gifts for yourself and others.
Currituck Small Business Spotlight is presented by Currituck County Economic Development.