By Tula Mason
Photos By: Josh Triggs
Calling all lovers of the finer things in life! Yes, I am talking about those of you who appreciate well made, beautifully crafted, and unique furnishings and accessories for your home. If this sounds like you, B.Vintage, located at 304 W. Washington Street in Charles Town, WV is definitely the store of your dreams. Here you can find the most fabulous assortment of all things stylish for any living space.
Whether you favor rustic design or something more along the industrial line, you can find it there. Everything about this shop exudes high quality and class while providing reasonably priced items and giving all who enter a relaxing homey place in which to shop. If I may say so, what a wonderful surprise to find such an eloquent vintage store in such a small town setting with affordable pricing.
Business owner Brianne Moulton is sure to add an even more pleasant touch to your shopping experience. With her friendly, kind manner coupled with her sheer enthusiastic nature, she is sure to win over the hearts of even the most reluctant of patrons. To say that she loves B.Vintage would be a serious understatement, as she eagerly shares her excitement about the shop and its patrons, you can clearly see that this is her passion. Ironically enough, this was not at all what she had envisioned for herself after graduating with degrees in both business marketing and economics from college in Waynesboro, PA. After growing up in the small, historical town of Shepherdstown, WV, her sights were set on a more exciting, faster paced, future.
So after she returned home for a matter of a few weeks, she accepted a position as manager of Nordstrom’s in Dulles Town Center located in Northern, VA, and her adventure began. Being on a fast track to fulfilling her aspiration of becoming a buyer there, she ultimately found that the long hours and subsequent time away from her family and friends, her direction shifted to the corporate world where she worked for a company in marketing. It was here that she reconnected with her (now) husband, who she had grown up with and even dated in her junior high days in Shepherdstown. After this, she went on to work as a clothier at a custom suit shop in Baltimore, MD, with an income based solely on 100% commission. This resulted in a high level of stress and an endless amount of tireless networking in order to be financially successful. Ultimately, the couple went on to have two children and decided to make their home here in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. They felt that it was important to afford their children with the same small town experiences that they were given growing up.
As it would happen, their return to the area was equally good for them as well. With a much more affordable cost of living, Brianne was able to stay home and be a mother to her children. Her new found freedom from the demands of the workforce also allowed her to spend time with family and friends and to enjoy her hobby. She, her sister Blair Shepard, along with their Nancy McManus spent many happy hours together repainting one of a kind pieces of furniture and the like. They did this using chalk paint because of its ease of use, beautiful color options, and its odor free and nontoxic properties. This decorative paint was developed by Annie Sloan in 1990 and is not to be confused with chalkboard paint which is a much more recent product and is meant to be written or drawn upon.
Eventually friends of the family who once owned a business at what is now B.Vintage approached Brianne, who frequently took on make over projects for friends, and asked her if she would be interested in opening a shop of their own in the space. Being a self described conservative, no gamble, and kind of girl with a slight tendency towards nervousness, she was quite hesitant to say the least. It was only after she laid eyes on this charming place that her apprehension turned into feelings of excitement and the rest is history.
Although being a small business owner is a lot of work, the ability to set her own hours, and doing what she loves gives her so much happiness that it really doesn’t feel like a job. She does however take her business very seriously and goes to great lengths to provide hand selected merchandise from all over the country to meet the needs of her patrons. She actually travels to trade shows so that she can see these items first-hand before adding them to her inventory. Many of these vendors are also used by the show “Fixer Upper” on HGTV, so don’t be surprised if your should find something that you may have seen on the show in this shop in downtown Charles Town.
Seriously, how cool is that! Many area supporters as well as a huge social media following have rewarded the attention and care that Brianna puts into her business, both of which she credits for the stores’ success. Although I am sure that this is true, I would venture to say that the beautiful combination of her hand done turnings and hand selected items has every bit as much to do with it.
For you do-it-yourselfers, B.Vintage also offers classes on how to use chalk paint to revitalize your family heirlooms that are likely sitting in your garage or basement collecting dust. Just sign up for one of these workshops, which are taught in the studio area above the shop and before you know it you too can create one of a kind furniture pieces of your own. The paint is available for purchase on site, so after you have mastered the technique you can continue the creative process in your own home. Be sure to drop in and show Brianne before and after pictures of your projects, as she truly enjoys seeing your successes. It gives her pride to know that others enjoy doing this as much as she does.
Brianne is passionate about family and community and supports other local businesses and organizations in the area as much as possible. Donations are made regularly to churches and worthy causes in the area and you will also find B.Vintage noted as supporters of both Washington and Jefferson High School football programs.
Area businesses are included in the two big sale events the store holds each year, the anniversary/birthday event in June and the holiday open house in November. These being the shops biggest sale days of the year, means good exposure for them.
If you are in the market for something old made new, or unique with a touch of class for your home or office, I implore you to visit B.Vintage in downtown Charles Town. This charming shop truly offers a wonderful variety of reasonably priced merchandise that will appeal to any discerning shopper. If you just want to try out a new hobby or create a masterpiece of your own, you must sign up for one of her greatest pleasures as a small town business owner is meeting new people and making new friends. I speak the truth when I say that you would be hard pressed to find a business owner anywhere who is more willing than Brianne Moulton to accommodate their customers needs. She is happy to go above and beyond, she has even opened the shop on off days for those customers who are traveling in from out of town such as Winchester, Berryville and Hagerstown willing to make the trip to Charles Town just to shop. B.Vintage speaks for itself.