Shop Talk at The Weather Vane

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

Jean Wyatt, 55

Owner, The Weather Vane

103 Scott Lane, Gambier


You sell women's clothing and accessories. What's your shop's focus?

It's definitely a boutique - something you can't find other places. I try to do the unusual and the unique. Nice quality gives people a reason to come back.

How would you describe the look of your goods?

It goes from funky to classic. It's wearable art.

How would you describe your personal look?

Get ready and get to work! Gotta make it to aqua aerobics and get to work. Just like most women. I've raised three kids.

You're located on Kenyon's campus, but you offer clothes for both younger and older women, yes?

I started when I was 21, so my customer base has grown with me.

Have you been here for all these years?

Yes! I loved sewing. I was in 4-H. I wanted to be a home economics teacher, but at that time, Ohio State was $1,500 a year and I only had $1,500. So I chose a career college, and I studied fashion merchandising.

Why did you choose this location?

We looked at Ohio State and High St., and it was too expensive to rent. We looked at Bowling Green, and it was too expensive to rent. Kenyon had just opened up to women. I was renting the basement of the Village Inn (next door) for $30 a month.

And I hear you've had some notable customers, too, eh - thanks in large part to famous parents of students?

Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward have been customers. Jamie Lee Curtis' daughter just graduated last year, so she's been in a couple of times. And I don't like to name drop. But it's cool.

How do people find out about you?

Word of mouth... people who say, "Oh, if you ever make it to Gambier, you're got to find that store!"

You're soon celebrating your 35th anniversary. What's your secret to success?

I'm willing to live on very little! I don't rip people off. I have really nice things at a really great price.

Kristy Eckert is the editor of Capital Style.