Rebecca Werley was blessed with a decorator’s eye and an artistic flair, but, until recently, considered herself just a hobbyist. Then she joined the growing contingent of enterprising female entrepreneurs who have set up shop in Camp Hill.
Deemed “Sweet 504,” the shop name is a combination of the phrase “Home Sweet Home” and the area code that, if dialed, connects to the Big Easy.
“My whole family is from New Orleans,” explained Werley.
The boutique shop is located a stone’s throw from the specialty gift and coffee shop, One Good Woman, and shares a corner property and a rear entrance with MollyBee Kids, a toy store that opened last year.
Werley explained how the pieces of the puzzle fell into place to inspire her to make a go of it in an area that is known for supporting small businesses.
“I have a background in many things,” she said. “Prior to moving here, I was COO of a workforce development corporation and, before that, I was a software director of training.”
Werley, who also worked as a stay-at-home mom for about a decade, was ready to launch into something new when her husband was transferred to the area.
“We both decided I would do something different and creative,” she said.
The concept evolved almost organically as Werley went about her day-to-day life gaining a reputation for having an “eye for design.”
“I kept helping friends with projects,” she said. “One asked me to design a foyer, an entrance, a living room and dining room on a shoestring budget of $600.”
Werley set the wheels in motion to make it work, pulling in thrift and antique items, as well as their existing pieces. The outcome was well received, and the positive response inspired her to continue.
“Since then, I started taking on individual clients, just for fun, and it just evolved into a business where I curate pieces and spaces and help people work within their budgets to create what works for them,” she said.
On any given day, customers are likely to find something different in Werley’s cozy shop.
New items, like organic textiles produced by Chambersburg-based Zestt, are displayed alongside vintage pieces—from china to giftware to furniture like a mid-century modern orange/gold sofa, a purchase inspired by a recent issue of Architectural Digest.
“I always ask myself if it’s well made before I buy it,” Werley said.
She’s also a big believer in the motto, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” and takes satisfaction in giving pieces “new life.” She gains pleasure from the thrill of the hunt—finding that perfect piece for a difficult puzzle that few have the ability to tackle.
“One of my friends came in the other day with pictures—sometimes people need one or two things in specific dimensions for an entryway, for instance,” she said. “I’m often on the lookout for pieces to fit in odd-sized spaces.”
Shelley Sheker met Werley at a Pilates class in New Cumberland. At the time, the Camp Hill resident found herself in a difficult space, both literally and figuratively.
“I had lost my mother to cancer and, when I was moving her belongings, I was having a tough time, and Rebecca asked me if there was anything she could do,” Sheker said.
She shared that she inherited a series of family heirlooms that were near and dear to her heart.
“My mother had beautiful pieces that belonged to her and my aunt, but they didn’t fit into the style of my home,” said Sheker.
Werley decided to help her friend find a way to integrate the items into the décor.
“It became a beautiful collection of eclectic pieces that matched my style,” Sheker said. “She stepped in and did a wonderful job at a very difficult time.”
Erica Moffitt-Dilks tells a similar story.
“My family and I moved to Camp Hill in June, and we loved our new space, but we knew it needed to be lightened, brightened and updated, but we didn’t know where to start,” she said. “I spoke to Rebecca at a get-together, and she mentioned that it was something she enjoyed doing.”
Werley was able to work within a budget to make inexpensive changes that transformed the space.
“Her suggestions were spot on,” said Moffitt-Dilks. “She has such a vision and is able to see it the way you want it to be.”
Frances Montresor agrees that Werley tends to think outside the box.
“She redid our living room and dining room and asked our daughters to create a painting to tie it all together,” she said.
And although Werley doesn’t claim to have an eye for landscaping, that hasn’t stopped her from bringing that aspect of design into her equation, as well.
It’s unlikely that Werley will branch out into landscaping. For now, she’s content to continue to pursue her passion of helping others create and customize their own perfect nests.
Sweet 504 is located at 1849 Market St. (rear), Camp Hill. For more information, call 717-884-4919 or visit or the Facebook page: Sweet 504.