Edwards opens furniture store

CHAPEL HILL On Saturday, She and her husband, former NC senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, were all smiles for the grand opening of Mrs. Edwards' new furniture store, Red Window.

The Chapel Hill store is an idea, Elizabeth Edwards said, dating back to her childhood.

"My mother had a charity store when I was growing up where she got Japanese antiques and sold them," she said.

The new shop on West Rosemary Street offers North Carolina furnishings at wholesale prices.

"I try to go to High Point and buy good things at a great price," she said. "Sometimes that means I've got to buy a lot of them, but then pass the good price along to customers here in Chapel Hill."

Elizabeth Edwards called the store a family endeavor. On hand for the opening was her assistant manager and 11-year-old daughter Emma Claire, along with John Edwards.

"I do more moving furniture than anything else," John Edwards said. "This is Elizabeth's deal, but everybody in the family is trying to help support her."

The grand opening came as the Edwards' family deals with a federal investigation and tabloids that don't seem to go away.

The latest headline claimed John Edwards was helping his former mistress, Rielle Hunter, and her baby move to Wilmington near his waterfront home.

Days before that, The National Enquirer reported John Edwards underwent secret DNA tests that showed he was the father of Hunter's 1-year-old daughter.

"Tabloid news is tabloid news," Elizabeth Edwards said. "We just have a family to run and now a business to run as well, so we just keep our eye on that ball and try to ignore what supermarket tabloids have to say."

Then there's the federal investigation focused on John Edwards' use of campaign funds.

Last week, Hunter testified before a federal grand jury in Raleigh, because investigators wanted to know if John Edwards paid for more than Hunter's videography work.

He would only discuss the store Saturday, but when asked what his future held he said he was, "doing the things I need to do with my family, helping Elizabeth, support what she's doing here."

Some customers at the store Saturday said they felt the family should just be left alone.

"I think that they've had enough," Shirley Davis said. "The family needs to be able to go on and live their lives."

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