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Tuesday September 30, 2014
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Dexter's Cottage Industry

 

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No one in Dexter, including the Dexter Museum archivist, Nancy Van Blaricum, could verify that story with a written record, but the building's owner, Johnny Weber, says he heard it "from two or three people" and is guessing that it must have been "somewhere around the turn of the century." He bought the Boxwood building and the old hospital next door in the 1990s and says they had been the residences of a couple of generations of the Payne family, going at least as far back as the Depression. (Weber is from old Dexter stock himself--his family owned Weber's Furniture on Main Street.)

Boxwood's main product could have come right out of a nineteenth-century general store. Owners Gail Hauman and Mandy Pomo are the only distributors in the area of American Paint Company's old-fashioned, completely natural paint made of chalk and clay. In soft, rich colors, it requires thinning with water, and, unlike latex paint, it must be sealed with a finishing coat or wax, and Hauman and Pomo can show you how. Hauman says, "It is eco-friendly, solvent free and zero VOC [volatile organic compounds]. I've been painting in here, and I don't think you can smell it, can you?" (Nope.) She was working on "an old mahogany nightstand I bought from my mother's friend. It will be ivory and teal." Hauman confesses that this is one of her rare DIY projects. She's not the artist--Mandy is.

Boxwood also sells a small selection of American-made nest-feathering home products like pillows, throws, and candles. Hauman's husband Scott, a professional "brander," came up with the business's name and logo.

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