It pays to support small business.

Colonial Heights, VA

Colonial Heights, VA

My super cool art teacher friend Beth informed me a month or so ago that the trim throughout the downstairs portion of our house was actually picture rail. Original picture rail! No need to poke holes in that plaster. No sir. I was really excited.

I stopped by our local Benjamin Moore Paint store to see Gary, the paint guy on Friday. He also does custom framing out of his shop. Gary gave was such a huge help when we were painting our living room and dinning room I wanted to see if he by chance had picture rail hooks before I stopped at Lowes or ordered them online.

Sure enough he had  six packs of 3 left. They were in faded, old packages and had probably been hanging there for ages. He said they were hard to find as they are discontinued. Newer homes just don’t have that kind of detail. They were just $1.25 a pack. I said I’d take them all and as I had my pen poised to write the total in my check book registry he said, “Nope. Just take them. A gift from me to your family for all your business here.”

I would’ve hugged him if he hadn’t been on the other side of the counter. Now would Lowe’s or Walmart have done such a thing?! Duh, what a ridiculous thought. Colonial Heights doesn’t have too many Mom-and-Pops left.  I asked our real estate agent where the local hardware store was and she said they didn’t have one anymore. What kind of small town doesn’t have a local hardware store?! Ice cream shop (you know those little seasonal dairy stands)? Nope. Gone. Replaced by Dairy Queen. The Boulevard looks like “everywhere USA” with chains far as the eye can see.

Pickwick Ave.

Pickwick Ave.


Oh the possibilities.

There’s a little strip of shops off the main drag (Pickwick Ave) that has real potential. In fact it is the one and only quaint, redemable plot of retail/business in Colonial Heights. And it’s nestled smack dab in the middle of a residential area with sidewalks. Folks could walk there. Imagine that! There is one “For Rent” sign where an Antique Shop went under. I’m not holding my breath that it turns into a little used book store/coffee shop anytime soon …Or a co-op grocery store… a mini Ellwood Thompsons… a cute little soda shop… oh the possibilities. It could be an awesome little nook.

Be a conscious consumer. Please support your small business owners. Our communities depend on it. Just imagine what your neighborhood would be like without them.


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