Ole Timer’s Antiques to celebrate 15 years

Barbara Dumire

FRONT ROYAL – Barbara Dumire will celebrate the 15th anniversary of her shop, Ole Timer’s Antiques and Collectibles today. As is true in life and business, Dumire said the business has had its peaks and valleys, but her enthusiasm for her business has never waned.

“(It’s been a) roller coaster,” Dumire said. “One minute, you’re doing really good and the next minute, you can’t sell a thing. We came close to losing the shop three times and each time it does a turnaround.”

Dumire said the success of her business, located at 220 E. Main St, isn’t owed exclusively to the items displayed there, but also to her customers’ positive experiences.

“I think it’s how you treat people,” she said. “I think that’s the biggest thing. Most of my customers have become my friends and, being a Christian, I try very hard to treat people the way I’d like to be treated and that’s what I do.”

Some of her customers, like Mary Jane Leight, of Winchester, who works in Front Royal, have been patronizing the store since its inception.

“I’ve been a customer over there since she opened that shop,” said Leight, who works at the adjacent law office. “This is so convenient, because it’s right next to the office.”

Leight said she also loves how Dumire is always thinking of her customers.

“If she finds something she thinks you are interested in, she lets you know right away,” Leight said. “That’s what makes her special, she’s always on the lookout for you, she’s my other set of eyes … I think she’s wonderful.”

Dumire, who relocated to Front Royal from Fairfax, said that her former home is where many of her customers come from.

“A lot of Northern Virginia people have second homes here, so their homes here are not fancy,” she said. “They have their fancy homes there, so when they come here, they’re looking for painted furniture, or furniture that’s not expensive that they can just be relaxed on the weekends with. That seems to be some of the biggest clientele I have.”

As business has changed, so too has its clientele, Dumire said.

“(Young people), they’re my best buyers,” she said. “It’s not the older people — the older people already have it. It’s the younger people. A lot of times they will go and shop at one particular store and within a year to a year and a half, it’s fallen apart and they come in and know what to look for the next time. They’re very good customers.”

Dumire explained how mainstream antique and remodeling-themed television shows have also played a role in the changing landscape of the antique world.

“I think it’s an influence,” she said. “I think the TV show ‘Fixer Upper’, I have so many people come in constantly and say my shop looks like Jo-Jo and Chip’s (Joanna and Chip Gaines, stars of ‘Fixer Upper’), and that’s a really nice compliment because she mixed old and new, which is what I do… I like more of an eclectic look. It makes it more interesting… I’m not a match-y girl at all.”

To commemorate the shop’s crystal anniversary, Ole Timer’s will have an open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today. Those who purchase an item will be entered into a drawing for a $150 gift certificate to the store.

Contact staff writer Nathan Budryk at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or nbudryk@nvdaily.com