Blue Peacock stocks the real thing
WINCHESTER – The Blue Peacock antique shop holds more than kitschy wall signs and collectible coins. It is home to as many stories as it has items in its 10,000 square feet, along with a level of quality that just doesn’t exist in products made today, say owners Tanya and Scott Singleton.
The Singletons, who opened the shop in 2013 at 326 South Braddock St., say they think that Winchester is the right market for the Blue Peacock.
“You look at Winchester, with its historic prevalence from the Civil War back to the Revolutionary War, an antique shop would fit if you have period antiques,” said Scott Singleton. “It’s certainly a fit for this market to have something like this.”
The couple calls their inventory true antiques and they don’t stock items after 1979.
The Singletons have been collecting and picking since they were 16 and 13 years old respectively, and say that their experience is invaluable in the antique business.
“It’s learning from people that have gone before you that show you how authentic things look versus a reproduction, and you study,” said Tanya Singleton.
The couple also explained how the quality of antiques ensures their longevity and adds to their appeal.
Scott Singleton pointed out an oak table as an example.
“This, it’s not made by Ikea. This is something that’s going to last you another 100 or 200 years. It’s not going to fall apart in 20 days,” he said.
Tanya Singleton added, “It’s not just vintage or antique, it’s also durable…and usually it’s lower priced.
“What we’re counting on is for that piece of furniture from Ikea to fall apart and the person who bought it saying, ‘We just need some really good furniture, let’s buy this solid piece of furniture. We know it will last.'”
In addition to ensuring the existence of these antiques, the Singletons say a lot of what they do revolves around recycling and the repurposing of items.
“We believe thoroughly that antiques are going to be there because they’re going to keep getting recycled,” said Tanya Singleton. “All of us in the antique world feel like we were being green before being green was great, because we keep recycling all this stuff.”
Those who recycle their antiques will not only be contributing to the health of the environment, but can make some cash too, said Scott Singleton.
“That’s one of the messages we try to get out there” he said. “Don’t take it to the dump, don’t take it to the scrap yard. Take it by here first, we’ll give you some money for it. You don’t have to throw it in the dumpster.
“People will throw away something that’s vintage or antique when it should be recycled. There’s a collector for what you’re throwing away… We’re not just an antique shop, we’re a recycling center.”
The Singletons say their line of work is not without its challenges, as it is heavily influenced by trends, which change frequently.
“That’s my personal frustration,” said Scott Singleton, who has marketing background. “I try to apply that [marketing] skillset here and it just doesn’t work. There’s no pattern. There’s no reason why something sells today and doesn’t tomorrow…There are no patterns as far as why people buy what they buy and when they buy it.”
The way to combat this, he said, is variety.
“You have to do everything. You need to be into every type of antique and collectible so you can appeal to the masses.”
The Blue Peacock’s owners rely on more than 30 dealers to supply their store, along with what they find themselves, Tanya Singleton said.
“They [dealers] are very broad-spectrum in what they buy. As you can see walking around in here, it’s all over the map,” she said. “You can get everything in here from a postcard to an 18th-century oil painting.”
Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or email@example.com