The Very Thing, Haymarket’s Consignments

August 15, 2013

May I introduce you to The Very Thing…For Her?

Yes, that is the name of a new place to shop in the town of Haymarket, Virginia. Truly, it is worth the drive from Washington, Maryland or other parts of Virginia.

The original store, The Very Thing, located next door, opened six years ago. Antiques, furniture, sports items, collectables of every kind are yours to find. There was another request, an upscale ladies consignment shop.

Next to The Very Thing was a historical building, one of the first houses built after most of Haymarket was burned to the ground during the Civil War. Named the Hulfish House, it was constructed in 1874 by George Andrew Hulfish, a very successful merchant who became the first acting mayor of Haymarket when the town was incorporated in 1882.

When the village of Haymarket was burned in 1862, Hulfish was only 15 years old and was working as a blacksmith in his father’s carriage shop. His father, Garrett Hulfish, a native of New Jersey, had moved to Haymarket in the mid-1840s. Sadly, it was Garrett’s house and carriage shop that were the first buildings set on fire by the Union troops.

This year, the town of Haymarket renovated the Hulfish house then leased it to the owner of The Very Thing, Doris Buck.
The Very Thing…For Her takes up the entire historical house. Lisa Dalby, the manager, along with her associate, Stacy Curran, tell me they are very particular about the clothes they consign from designer dresses, coats, sweaters to handbags, jewelry and shoes. Consignments are accepted by appointment only. Located at 6630 Jefferson St., Haymarket, Virginia, The Very Thing…For Her has parking and is easily accessed from Route 66’s Haymarket exit. Their phone number is (703) 743-1494. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

I strongly suggest you plan on visiting both stores, especially during the holidays. The perfect gift? Yes. The perfect attire for her? Yes. Unique and tasteful? Most certainly. [gallery ids="119363,119357" nav="thumbs"]

The White Elephant

November 3, 2011

Every trip to the town of Middleburg, VA, warrants a visit to a special place: The White Elephant. Since my church always had an annual white elephant sale, I immediately understood the significance of the name.

It was 22 years ago that two sisters and their mother began what has become a must-visit, must-purchase-something store. Sisters Leslie and Cynthia Broockman, with their late mother Gloria, began in 1988 with what they considered a brief indoor garage sale. It was winter and too cold to sell on the sidewalk some of the furniture and other excess items they no longer needed after moving up from Florida. So, as fate would have it, they were offered an empty room, which happened to be an unused storefront in Middleburg, to conduct a sale. It was only meant to last two days. Instead, the idea of “consignments” flew into the picture and the “sale” continues to this day.

“Follow your dreams,” their mother advised her daughters. The dream became a reality as chance encounters led to the creation of what are now two consignment shops, one in Middleburg and one in nearby Warrenton. Cynthia says, “If you have the courage to dream and wait patiently with complete faith, they’ll come true.” Despite all the odds, and there were many, the story behind this family not only creating a consignment business (quite by accident) but allowing the venture to help others serves as an inspiration to anyone wishing to follow their dream.

On a recent visit to Middleburg, I walked into The White Elephant and, not needing anything in particular, but always curious, headed down the aisle of antiquities. There are two sides to the store plus a basement divided into two sides. On the left, you will find a collection of apparel and accessories. Many of these are new. None are over two years old. Everything from jeans to evening gowns, jewelry to shoes.

On the right are “decorative accents and furniture.” All incoming consignments are carefully screened for quality. You will not have to search through “junk” to find valuable items. This particular day, I observed a man looking closely at certain items, making notes, and walking on to carefully study another object. I had to ask, “Are you an antique collector?” Yes, he was. Not only a collector but, I believe, although he would not tell me as much, he had a business selling antiques. I was not surprised.

In our home are signs of The White Elephant everywhere. I won’t tell. Okay, maybe I will, just to entice you. But you must keep our secret!

One day, we brought home an art nouveau side table for the living room. On another occasion,
we came home with a three piece entertainment console for downstairs. And a few years ago, we could not resist a beautiful Oriental rug. Many items at The White Elephant are one of a kind, including paintings, jewelry, and china. The choices change constantly, so you must make a habit of snooping.

Reasonably priced, many items are one of a kind and many are collectable. Their collections, which change almost daily (since the inventory and sales are continuous, seven days a week), are incredible. For wedding gifts, graduation gifts, birthdays, and for your personal collections, it is hard to resist a purchase at the White Elephant. There are always lovely, helpful ladies working at the shop should you have any questions. Plus I always meet fascinating people many of whom, like me, make it a priority to poke around the hidden treasures and rarely leave empty-handed.

Visit The White Elephant at 103 West Federal Street in Middleburg or
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