By Stefanie Jackson – Clients are encouraged to stretch their bodies and their creativity at the Asbury Collective in Cape Charles, a newly opened business that is both a yoga studio and gift shop and aspires to be even more – a place where community members can meet and share their talents.
The business is run by husband-wife team David and Stefanie Jackson (no relation to the reporter who wrote this story), whose goal in opening the Asbury Collective was “to create a space where everyone in the community can find a connection,” Stefanie Jackson said.
The Jacksons moved to Cape Charles in 2018 from New Jersey, outside of a metro area.
The couple was introduced to Cape Charles after Stefanie Jackson’s parents moved there in 2014. Like so many others who live in town full time, when the Jacksons first visited Cape Charles, they “fell in love” with it, and before they knew it, they were looking to buy property in town where they could build a home.
Both had established careers before they moved to the Eastern Shore; David is in the digital advertising business and Stefanie is a geologist who works in soil and groundwater remediation.
Both will continue their full-time careers while managing the Asbury Collective, which is their “passion project,” David Jackson said.
His creative outlet is the Asbury Collective’s shop, which customers encounter first when they walk through the front door. Jackson, who likes woodworking and antiques, built the front desk and is interested in adding elements of Cape Charles history to the store’s aesthetic. For example, he keeps a collection of old postcards from the little tourist town.
Continuing through the shop, one enters the studio, where yoga and other classes will be taught. Stefanie Jackson is an experienced yoga instructor who plans to teach four classes a week. Also teaching classes are her friends and fellow yoga instructors, Becky Davis, Bonnie Casey, Ellie Gordon, and Debra Bosna.
The Asbury Collective is now the only yoga studio in Cape Charles; the others closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic or for personal reasons, Jackson explained.
Bosna, who operated Freestyle Yoga in Cape Charles for seven years and has taught yoga for around 20 years, has a “very close” relationship with Jackson and “gave her blessing” to her friend to start her own yoga studio, Jackson said.
Themed yoga classes will be offered, such as Glow While You Flow, in which participants wear neon-colored clothes and special body paint while performing yoga under a black light. A possible future yoga theme is Sip and Stretch, in which participants enjoy a glass of wine with their yoga.
In addition to yoga, Jackson intends for the Asbury Collective to offer arts and crafts classes, such as jewelry making and basket weaving.
She plans to teach macrame, a type of lace or fringe made by repeatedly knotting yarn or thread to create patterns and designs. The end result appears similar to a knitted or crocheted piece, except no needles or hooks are used; all the work is done by hand and is therefore more time-consuming.
Jackson is interested in expanding the Asbury Collective’s offerings to include people who express their creativity in other ways. For example, she would like to invite a local chef to do a cooking demonstration.
David Jackson also would like to expand the shop’s offerings, perhaps to include some antiques and works by local artists.
The process of leasing and fixing up the space and opening the shop and studio was swift. David Jackson said he and his wife were walking their dogs along Randolph Avenue in December 2021 and noticed a retail space was available for rent.
They discussed the business prospect and after asking themselves, “Are we really going to do this?” they decided to go for it.
One of the things David Jackson likes best about Cape Charles is that “I feel like I can breathe here.” He enjoys living in a small town where he can get to know people, build friendships – and walk to the beach.
His wife agreed; she likes being around people who share her values, such as taking care of the community and the environment.
Stefanie Jackson admitted that “not everyone is cut out to live on the Shore,” but she and her husband are both originally from small towns and appreciate the slower pace after having worked for years in the city.
The Jacksons look forward to welcoming their community to the Asbury Collective and shaping it into a creative outlet for all kinds of talented people who need a space in which they can express themselves.
Yoga classes will be held weekly, Monday through Saturday, and the shop will be open Monday through Thursday, noon to 5 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, noon to 7 p.m.
The Asbury Collective is located at 712 Randolph Ave., Cape Charles. To view and register for classes, visit https://AsburyCollectiveSchedule.as.me/ or for general questions, email [email protected]