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From Augustafreepress.com

Waynesboro biz caters to the stars (Rose mcgowan mention & Photo)

By Chris Graham

Thursday 1 July 2004, by xanderbnd

Gwyneth Paltrow picked up something in downtown Waynesboro recently, and she just swears by it.

Ditto for Geena Davis.

And then there’s Tori Spelling ... well, we can’t go too much into that one just yet.

All are fans of Blue Moon Galleries, a Waynesboro-based Web business that is busy catering to the stars these days.

"I’m standing there looking straight at her, and I can’t think of her name to save my life," said Blue Moon co-owner Stacey Strawn Evans, recounting her recent trip to Tinseltown for a charity event that drew attendees from Hollywood’s A, B and C lists.

"It was Rose McGowan," said Galleries co-owner Steve Dahl.

"All I could think was ... I think she used to date Marilyn Manson," Strawn Evans said.

Blue Moon had been invited to the two-day charity party after organizers came across items from its Internet gift store while browsing on-line.

"I wasn’t too sure about it at first. It sounded too good to be true," Strawn Evans said of the phone call that she’d received earlier this year from Silver Spoon Entertainment Marketing that led to the party invite.

The company was calling with an offer it assumed Strawn Evans and Dahl wouldn’t be able to refuse: All they had to do was bring along 500 of their Sterling Silver Teething Ring Rattles and assorted other items along to give out to a few hundred Hollywood celebrities.

"My first thought was, ’They want us to give out 500 of what?’ " Strawn Evans said.

The opportunity proved to be one of those once-in-a-lifetime-type deals. The hosts chose the ring rattles to serve as the invitation for the party - meaning rattles from Blue Moon were sent out to 500 sets of celebrity parents and parents-to-be, including Courtney Cox and Greg Grunberg, and famous pooch-lovers Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff, Rachel Hunter, Kirsten Dunst and Minnie Driver.

The rattle and its cousin, the Birth Record Teether, quickly became two of the most sought-after items at the party.

Both teethers are made of pure sterling silver, and the metal is soft enough to show baby’s teethmarks, preserving the memory for a lifetime.

The Birth Record Teether, made in America by Web Sterling for more than half a century, can be engraved with baby’s month and year of birth, weight and time of birth.

Blue Moon Galleries traces its own time of birth back to 1994, when Dahl laid the groundwork for a Web-design business that at one time had a clientele in the 200-plus range.

The decision was made in 2000 to refocus the business strategy in another direction.

"We had several clients in the mail-order catalogue business, and the thought came to mind that we might be able to do what they were doing," Strawn Evans said.

So Strawn Evans and Dahl approached the Waynesboro-based Virginia Metalcrafters about becoming an authorized dealer of Metalcrafters’ wares - much like any mom-and-pop shop might do in advance of hanging up a shingle in front of a storefront.

"We’re just like Jane’s Gift Shop, except that our storefront is on the Internet," Strawn Evans said.

A year after launching www.brassgallery.com as their first Jane’s Gift Shop, Strawn Evans and Dahl started www.silvergallery.com to feature products made by Salisbury, New England Sterling and more.

Blue Moon is also home to www.lampgallery.com, which sells lamps produced by Wildwood, and www.jiggy.com, which markets rock ’n’ roll band memorabilia.

Which leads us back to the world of celebritydom.

"I’m not sure if I was able to be nervous about it. My mind was focused on just trying to do what I could to make a good first impression. I was desperate to make a good first impression," Strawn Evans said of her weekend rubbing elbows with the stars.

"That first day, we were more uptight about it. I think we relaxed more on the second day," Dahl said.

"The first day, I was more concerned with coming across as tacky than anything else," Strawn Evans said.

Based on the reactions of Paltrow, Davis, Spelling (ahem) and others, that shouldn’t have been a matter for too much concern.

"I keep feeling like we’re on the edge of something big happening with this," Strawn Evans said. "I feel like I’m getting ready to bungee jump, and I’m just about ready to take the plunge."