We all know I’m just a small, a small town girl (Yes, I was singing Kellie Picker in my head while I wrote that. She’s one of my girls). I’ve said a million times why I love living in a small town but it never really occurred to me until yesterday that I love working in a small town, too. You see, somehow coming home from Pittsburgh and going straight to work without time to stop home made me love it even more.
You’re probably thinking, “Why would you come home from an overnight trip and not even go home before you go to work?” Well, that’s an excellent question that I asked myself all weekend (Being late is a trigger for my anxiety attacks and I had a bad feeling about this whole agreeing to work thing). Thing is I agreed to work because I love my job and would hate to let down the people I work for. Heck, I missed out on a massive Steelers shopping spree on the way home just so I could make it from Pittsburgh to Harpers Ferry by 1.
I work for this older couple (and by older I mean, a few years younger than my grandparents and a few years older than my parents) who I absolutely love. Cindi is one of the nicest, most caring people in the world. She is absolutely adorable and would do anything to help anyone. And Billy Ray is really nice, too. He’s always trying his best to make the store nice and friendly and getting the customer the best experience and product. They are sort of like third grandparents to me. I only work for them when they need a little extra help around the store because of a big weekend or someone needs some time off (We only have those two, another girl, and me working). I don’t think I could ever tell them no if they asked me to work. It would have to be some serious circumstances because they’ve been so awesome to me that I like returning that favor. After all, they are the Vintage Lady and her man 🙂 .
Of course, they aren’t the only reason I love working where I work. I love that Cindi, Billy Ray, Crystal, and I are friends and we get along really well but I also love the fact we are such a small shop that we have that experience. Being the small shop we are, we get to know our all regulars and make friends (with their dogs, too, because we are a dog friendly shop 🙂 ). We also get to chat with our non-regulars as well. Since we are in the Ferry in Harpers Ferry (as in on High Street where everything is basically), many of the tourists come in a visit. I’ve met people from right over in Martinsburg, people from California, people from Ireland, people from England, people related to John Brown, people who threw a dart and said let’s go there. Each story is so interesting that I get wrapped up in it. It really makes you realize what a small world it is. Like, when Cindi and I first started talking, she realized that my gram’s house is the one on her way to the library that always has a mess of kids in the backyard. Or a lady came in with a homemade necklace on that she made. She started talking to Cindi about it and we asked her if we could try selling some, turns out she also sells them in Nags Head, where I was headed a few weeks later.
The shoppers aren’t the only people I get to know. Because there are a few small shops like ours, I get to know the other owners to go along with everyone else. We have them stop in our shop (and bring soda on a hot day). We stop in their shops to talk. We have their doggies come visit and share a few of Maggie’s Treats (Our special recipe treats, of which part of the proceeds to an animal shelter because we are awesome. Okay, maybe we keep a bag behind the counter to entice the dogs in to play with). Whenever I talk to anyone from around the area now and I tell them where I work, they rave about the store and Cindi and Billy Ray.
Being a small shop also means we become very familiar with the products. We sell jewelry from many artists who handcraft their pieces and we have quite a few local artists and other local products (like everyone’s favorite: Blenko glass). I can tell you all kinds of stuff about the making of the pieces. I can recommend the right pieces for customers. That’s my favorite. I love when people ask me what I like because I get to go through and point out just every piece of jewelry and clothing that I wish I could buy (I’d basically buy out the whole store). Of course, more than anything I love being able to sell pieces that Cindi or Crystal has made. Crystal specials with swarovski crystals, making birthstone necklaces and earrings and a few all metal earrings. Cindi makes lots of vintage looking necklaces, earrings, bobby pins, pins, rings, and other things with flowers and buttons and the such. I mean, after all, she is the Vintage Lady. People are always really interested in learning about the pieces they are purchasing and I like making it more special to them–especially when the creators are two people I really like. One lady yesterday bought our last piece from a certain collection that was a Coexist pendant. It was made out of materials from South Africa and when she and Crystal got talking, it turned out she lived in South Africa for a while, love the place, and Crystal gave her the African phrase to go with it to research. She told us how much more the necklace meant to her, now.
I know part of the reason I like working in a small town is because I’m not so good with large groups and I love being a small town girl but there are so many facets of my reasoning. While in Nags Head, I was complimented on my flower bobby pin and I proudly told her my boss made it and where she could buy one. So, if any of y’all are ever in Harpers Ferry, stop by The Vintage Lady because we not only have some of the coolest clothes, jewelry, and Made in West Virginia products, we have some of the coolest employees and neighbors, too 😉 . Or if you never plan on getting there, you don’t have to miss the opportunity completely because we have out own website and online store 😉 .