SUISUN VALLEY — Anita O’Brien notices a difference at Mankas Corner these days.
She runs the Simply Savvy Home Collection along with Britt Newell. The furniture studio is one of a handful of businesses at a crossroads in rural Suisun Valley.
Mankas Steakhouse, across the street, has passed to new owners in recent months. O’Brien said more people than ever are coming to the restaurant, as well as to the Vezer wine tasting room and events.
These visitors tend to walk across the street to look at Simply Savvy. For that reason, the store has begun to carry more items, such as jewelry and wine country key chains – things that can serve as small souvenirs of the local Wine Country.
O’Brien calls Suisun Valley a “hidden little treasure.” But Mankas Corner, at least, has apparently become just a little less hidden.
“I know this restaurant has changed things for us,” O’Brien said.
People entering Simply Savvy will see handmade women’s clothing and handmade baby clothing, mirrors, vases, seats and candles with such scents as guava. But that’s just a beginning. Much of what Simply Savvy is about can’t be seen in the showroom.
O’Brien went to a backroom packed with furniture catalogs by the dozens. The business has access to 80 to 90 furniture lines, as well a various upholstery lines.
Simply Savvy works with interior designers and with customers who want to do the design job. People can buy enough furniture and other items to fill a mansion, as has happened.
“You’d be stunned by what’s in those hills,” O’Brien said, looking toward the hills that form Suisun Valley.
Or they can drop by Simply Savvy and purchase something as simple as an end table.
O’Brien grew up in Green Valley. She got interested in interior design at age 11, when her father had her pick out furniture for the family mobile home business.
“I love it,” O’Brien said. “It’s really a passion.”
The work includes taking trips to the World Market Center and its trade shows to get the latest interior design ideas. World Market Center in Las Vegas describes itself as an “integrated home and hospitality contract furnishings showroom and trade complex” and covers 5 million square feet.
O’Brien and Newell have run Simply Savvy for about nine years, at one point at Rockville Corner on the other side of Suisun Valley. The business came to Mankas Corner a few years ago. It leases a building from Frank Vezer, who owns several Mankas Corner buildings.
“We love this location, this whole Napa Valley thing,” O’Brien said.
Then again, she said, Suisun Valley isn’t really like Napa Valley. Mankas Corner is part of Wine Country, Solano County-style. So is Simply Savvy.
Please call 435-9300 for more information on Simply Savvy.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929, or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.