The Vintage Lady sits perfectly about halfway up “the hill” in Lower Town, Harpers Ferry (169 High St.) Boasting a variety of unique items—a little something for everyone—from West Virginia hand-blown glass, pottery, carved coal, food, wine, and beer, owner Cindi Dunn also sells her own handmade jewelry.
“I think our shop does a great job of showcasing the work of West Virginia artisans (many local),” she noted, “as well as the work of other American artists. The idea of carrying West Virginia items came about probably the first year we owned the shop. I recall a customer walking in and saying loudly: I want something made in West Virginia.”
From that point forward, Dunn heard that phrase more than once. “With Harpers Ferry drawing tourists literally from all over the world, they want something locally made to take home as a reminder of their visit,” she added.
A decade and a half into business, Dunn admitted that the shop has evolved. “Well, first of all, we’re now forty-five steps up the street. We also used to place a strong emphasis on jewelry—most from other countries—and clothing and gifts as well. We started looking for American-made items and ‘Made in West Virginia’—some items we continue to carry from those days are Blenko Glass and [a top seller] hand-carved West Virginia coal items. After the fire [2015 Harpers Ferry fire], we had the opportunity to really change the direction of the shop. Crystal, our manager now for ten years, and I started making a lot of jewelry, which is so well received by our customers. We also added my photography and my line of cards.”
Dunn explained that the process of finding new artists has been enjoyable. “We continue to have a lot of fun, and our customers say they have fun in our shop,” she affirmed. “I’ve always said, if people have fun and are treated with kindness, everything else falls into place.”
The Vintage Lady is currently increasing its pottery offerings, including Harpers Ferry mugs, and though the online shopping component also continues to pick up, Dunn sees people still wanting an “experience.”
“They want to talk to the shop owner; they want personal interactions. We live in such a fast-paced world, it’s nice to have the experience that you can’t get with ‘add to cart.’”
As for what excites her about 2020, Dunn emphasized people. “We love meeting folks from our little town and from around the world—who marvel at this place,” she said. “It isn’t unusual for us to have visitors from all fifty states and thirty different countries!”
The Vintage Lady will offer up a St. Patrick’s Day special starting on March 14, and if readers mention this Business Brief, they’ll get a 10% discount on their purchase.
For more information, visit the above link and also find The Vintage Lady on Facebook.