Sandhills Woman's Exchange reopens for 100th year

On Wednesday, Sept. 8, the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange, at 15 Azalea Road, in Pinehurst, will be reopening for the fall season and beginning their 2021-2022 centennial year.

The SWE, housed in an early 1800s cabin, closed in May for the summer. During this current COVID-19/Delta virus, the cabin board members remain dedicated to safely continue operations according to the governor’s guidelines.

Reflecting those guidelines, reservations will be taken for five or more patrons for lunch which is served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. With a total number of 32 diners, the café will only allow a maximum of six per table. A total of 20 guests in the gift shop will be allowed. Masks are not currently required but recommended. A Plexiglas shield has been installed at the volunteer gift shop cashier area. Extensive cleaning continues to be a top priority throughout this season.

This fall’s popular Lunch n’ Learn events will be a variety of interesting topics from local authorities. Each date is limited to 32 participants from 10 a.m. to noon and includes a Chef Katrina lunch for the $25 pp reservation. The three Lunch n’ Learns include:

Sept. 16 — Dorothy Gibson will kick off the SWE Centennial celebration with “The Hope Diamond” Gibson is a retired gemologist, jewelry appraiser, fellow of the Gemological Assoc. of Great Britain and recipient of many professional awards. Gibson trained and worked at the Gemological Institute of America in New York City.

Oct. 14 — Sueson Vess will give a “demonstration & tasting- nutritious, delicious & allergy-free cooking with herbs.” As a Chef and lifelong foodie, Vess said goodbye in 2001 to gluten, dairy and sugar. It was a challenge that she says “renewed energy and restored health which motivated me to help others on a similar journey.”

Nov. 11 — Leslie Habets will give a demonstration for “Making Holiday Floral Arrangements.” Habets is the owner of Jack Hadden Floral and Events in Aberdeen. A South Carolina native and Anderson University graduate, she and her family have lived in the area for two decades. For Leslie, she states “coming here was love at first sight.”

Prior to the pandemic, the Sandhills Woman’s Exchange was one of only 20 exchanges remaining in the United States. The first exchange opened in 1832, the Philadelphia Ladies Depository followed by the second in 1856, the New Brunswick Depository. Both joined the National Federation of Exchanges in March of 1934 as a way for women to augment their family’s income through handmade items for consignment sale. Therefore, its national mission statement has always been ‘Helping Others Help Themselves.” The oldest woman’s exchange is in Brooklyn, N.Y. These Woman’s Exchanges represent one of the oldest, continuously operating voluntary movements in the United States.

Sadly, four of the National Federation of Woman’s Exchanges were forced to close due to the pandemic. They included Baltimore, MD.; Sherman, TX.; Little Silver, N.J.; and West Reading, PA.

New board members for the 2021-2022 year are Barb Summers, President; Dolores Muller, 2nd Vice president; Rosemary Zuhone, Corresponding Secretary; Faith Clay, Recording Secretary; Anne Wright, Treasurer; Yvonne Gale, Artisan Chair; Pattie Corbin and Beth Palmer, Volunteer servers; Marie Carbrey, Membership Chair; Mary Rocca, Volunteer Cashiers; and Judie Wiggins, Communications Team. Advisors to the SWE for this coming year include: Cav Peterson, Joyce Reehling, Ron Rhody, Jim Wiltjer, Jesse Wimberley, Amanda Jakl, Audrey Moriarty and Elizabeth Fisher.

The SWE hours will be Tuesdays through Saturdays 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.; lunch served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteer opportunities at the cabin include helping in the artisan gift shop, serving as a server in the Cabin Café, garden upkeep, and kitchen helper. For more information, call 910-295-4677, check out their website at and of course, their Facebook page.

Photo of Sandhills Woman’s Exchange by Sandhills Sentinel Photographer John Patota.



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