Patina means “beauty in aging.” Everything ages and if we look closely, we can see the beauty of natural processes and personal histories. There is a beauty in the assurance of an unknown next destination. Patina, a unique resale shop in Lewisburg, embraces the beauty in aging. They are located on E. Washington St. in downtown beside the Wild Bean Coffee Shop. Their logo is an aged dandelion with its seeds traveling with the wind. You will find that Patina is the furthest thing from a chain store as every item is carefully curated by a seasoned picker and hand-tagged. There are a zillion items under $25, many under $50, and a few gems over $500. It’s fair to say they offer “affordability.”
Owned and operated by Chris Ide and Mollie Messimer, this duo work alongside 15 creative vendors to offer a wide variety of cool vintage finds along with new stuff that has a similar aesthetic. Mollie has been a Patina vendor for several years and tells us she and Chris are honored to accept ownership of the store from the original owners, Valarie (Val) and Tony Hinkle. About 5 years ago, the Hinkles invented Patina out of Val’s vision for a one-of-a-kind retail venue. Mollie tells us, “The shop is an expression of Val’s creativity–the things she makes, the combinations she assembles, and her ability to make visitors and locals feel welcome downtown. Tony offered his willingness and acute business sensibility to make it happen. Along with his friendly smile, Tony would say, ‘I’m living my wife’s dream!’ and Patina is certainly a dream come true. Everyone loves Patina!”
Although the store has changed ownership, the Hinkles will still be involved. Mollie and Chris say that Val has a large booth in the front, featuring her handmade soaps, lotion bars, journals, and painted furniture. She will also continue to work her magic with window displays for every season.
We asked Mollie what the shop offers and she enthusiastically tells us, “Variety!” They have an ever-changing inventory, from small (jewelry and knickknacks) to large furniture pieces (sofas and chests). She says, “We feature antiques, vintage decor, collectibles, wall art, and seasonal delights. We are proud of handmade soaps, fun signs, local art, and international handicrafts. We also have gifts! Stuff comes in frequently and leaves quickly. Nab it while you can!”
Mollie and Chris’ favorite part about the shop is running across cool stuff and the colorful characters that come with buying and selling. They also feel invigorated being the newbies in the downtown community. Mollie says, “I can bring my dog Stella to work every day! We ask customers to donate their change to the Humane Society and nearly everyone wholeheartedly contributes. Isn’t that great?!”
She continues to say that she cannot thank Val and Tony Hinkle enough for making the transition happen so smoothly. Mollie tells us there was no need for closing down with brown paper on windows and that she is “grateful to Patina’s vendors who are both selective and diligent, making Patina’s inventory intriguing and ever-changing.” She goes onto say, “Many thanks to Erna Akers of Fortunate Finds fame and her fulfilled promise to support me at Patina. I especially appreciate Chris Ide for jumping wholeheartedly into the project and taking responsibility for all the hardest jobs: computer software, customer service, accounting, renovation, and other heavy lifting at the store.”
Mollie and Chris are thrilled about the new venture and invite you to stop in and look around. They describe the shop as a “cake with delicious frosting” and say they can only hope to add a few roses to what Val and Tony created. Mollie is a retired school counselor and educator and, in the near future, would like to offer classes and workshops on topics of interest, such as furniture painting and West Virginia glassworks. “I’d like for the store to highlight local artists and craftspeople in its front window and in its inventory. There is so much talent among us!” Patina is located at 1046 Washington St. E. Find them on fb @patina.lewisburgwv
– HashtagWV #107. November 2018.