We’re in it together for the wildly popular festival days, like Queen City Mischief and Magic. We’re in it together for the bustling holiday shopping season and Sparkles and Sweets. We’re in it together on those few snowy or frigid days in the deadest part of winter when we hope folks will come out for hot chocolate or hot toddies and poke around in the shops.
And we’re definitely in it together as the COVID-19 situation affects the whole world in one way or another, including our part of Virginia.
So what do we do?
Like the institutions you’re hearing from, or state news releases, and even statements from the City of Staunton, you’re also hearing from restaurants, hoteliers, and others about how they’re following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and monitoring their local health department releases.
And retailers are doing all this, too. We know we’re in it together with one another, with you, and with local authorities.
We take seriously your health and safety, and we’re committed to helping to slow down this virus so that, in the event of an increase in cases, our hospitals can keep up with demand.
At the Shop
While at this time our doors are remaining open, like others, we’re cleaning surfaces even more often than we already did, wiping down our front counter and front door handles with hospital-grade disinfectants. When the weather is beautiful and the humidity low, our front doors are open so that you need not touch the handles coming in and out.
We’re an actively visited business with people coming regularly but our aisles are quite wide and there’s plenty of room to maneuver about while still practicing social distancing. In fact, we have a good set up for escaping the stir crazy at home without having to get too close to anyone or anything.
Our staff always greets our customers with a friendly hello and tell you about our three levels of antiques and art shopping, but we don’t hug you or shake your hands, even though we think our visitors are lovely! 😉
We DO NOT use a tablet touch-screen for processing credit card and debit sales so you need not worry about excessive touching of surfaces, and we encourage you to carry your own pen for signing credit card receipts (though we do have clean pens available for each transaction). You can slide/insert your own card if you prefer.
We’re offering a basket for you to put cash in when checking out using cash where you can put the cash in, slide it over to us, and we can put the change in for you to pick up — hands need not touch. We switch out the baskets regularly, cleaning them after each use.
I heard a story on the radio yesterday about how the fashion gloves of the past may be making a return due to the virus. Fortunately, we have lots of vintage ones for your pleasure for costuming or fancy occasions.
At the same time, gloves don’t actually replace good hygiene and in fact can make it worse. Our staff are washing their hands regularly and we encourage you to do the same.
There’s always a bottle of hand sanitizer at our front desk available to our customers.
In It Together
Staunton, Virginia is part of a the Main Street America set of towns — we’re small, architecturally beautiful, walkable, and full of creative, independent retailers who both care about doing our part during a crisis, and yet who must survive through it on multiple levels, including economically.
My own shop is actually not just “my own.” It’s actually the storefront for over 40 vendors, and numerous artists upstairs, each of them trying their hardest in the best of times to make a go out of bringing you wonderful vintage and antique goods and art at a small, human scale.
In extra difficult times, I’m keenly aware that I’m fighting to keep our community of vendors and artists strong and to weather any ups and downs on their behalf. That’s why I’m reaching out through my blog on this topic.
We also know that for others travel is necessary for work, or to see family.
Please know that if you’re coming to our town, that our united community is working together by following all the best advice from our experts and elected officials, and working individually to keep our own operations in accordance with that best advice.
We’re also working to help each other make it through this time in health, optimism, and continued services as long as we can or as long as is advisable. If it turns out that we must temporarily close, we’ll let you know that, too.
We welcome you to our shop — Staunton Antiques Center — and hope a little walk down memory lane (with plenty of space between you and the next person) will help give you some diversion, and allow you to go on as normal as long as we can.
— Ellen Boden, Proprietress, Staunton Antiques Center