Cindy Dunn has owned The Vintage Lady shop since 2004, and she’s seen a lot of people walk through the door in the past sixteen years. That changed when the pandemic shut down her shop in March. Although she built up an online store during the temporary shutdown, she missed the spontaneous energy customers brought into the shop.
The store is open again — just Friday through Monday for now. While Cindy was glad to reopen, she noted, “the street seems busy, but not as busy as a normal summer. And it’s different when people come in only a few at a time. What I enjoyed most about the store was the energy, seeing the smiles and hearing the laughter as customers explored the merchandise. Everyone is more reserved now.”
Cindy spoke about the fire in 2015. “We lost everything. But it was an opportunity to rethink and refresh. We moved only a few doors up the street, but what we sell really changed. I focused on curating the merchandise, focusing on WV products — food, glass, jewelry. It’s become more of a mission for me over the past few years, to find and support local artists.”
As she spoke about the current challenges, Cindy described it as worse than the fire. “With the fire, you knew what to expect. There was a process with the insurance company, you knew what was lost. And what you had to do to reopen. Once the fire was out, there was a checklist of things to do, and a list of people to call. At the time I didn’t think anything would be worse than the fire, but this is. It’s not the complications and the rules, but the uncertainty. Not knowing if customers will be able to come in and shop next month, not knowing when the park will reopen, not knowing if I should plan to order merchandise or wait.”
“I know we’ll come through this, but it will be step by step. We’re still making plans and hoping we’ll be able to make them happen eventually.”Staff Contributor