The Department Store in Brookneal features not only antiques, collectibles, and handmade jewelry, but designer clothing and creative up cycle items. The store is celebrating eight amazing years and is still growing. “We started out in the old department store building on Main Street in the winter of 2011 with about five vendors including our proprietor Ricky Pritt,” recalls manager Brenda Pool. “We struggled through that cold winter with three floor heaters going, but they were useless because there was no insulation in the building and the heat went out through the cracks in the wall. But this didn’t stop us. Determined, we put on a coat, hat, and gloves and waited on each customer as they came to our shop.”
With Pritt’s determination and his loyal vendors, they moved to the old Ben Franklin building on Main Street on the first day of May 2012. “We were excited to open this new store soon when we were saddened by the sudden loss of our dear friend, Ricky Pritt. After several months we decided to open the store in Ricky’s memory and it happened thanks to his wife, Robin, who stepped in and supported the store through the years. We cannot say enough in appreciation to Robin for all she did for us,” explains Pool.
Today the store is celebrating eight years later and still going strong. With a new proprietor, Jeff Carpenter, and manager, and 22 dedicated vendors, the store sells anything from beautiful vintage furniture to sterling silver jewelry. They are still on a mission to honor Ricky Pritt’s memory and to bring business and life to Main Street, Brookneal.
The following is a bio on some of the vendors:
*Country Cupboard is owned by Ray and Brenda Pool and has a wide selection of vintage furniture, handmade cedar furniture and glassware.
*Southern Stitches is owned by Whitney Quimby and carries a selection of handmade stitchery including special designed towels, clothes, and tote bags.
*Antiques, Unique’s, Junkqets is owned by Betty Miles who has a wide selection of vintage tools, collectible glassware, and furniture.
*Priceless Pack Rat is owned by Tracy Meisenbach and daughter, Bron. They carry unusual and rare one of a kind items.
*Tattered Treasures is owned by Diane Pettie and features a full booth of vintage glassware, kitchen items, and furniture.
*Sneeze Weed is owned by Maria Grunwald and has hand-designed wine glasses, up cycle furniture, hand-painted occasion cards, and Christmas ornaments.
*Blue Willow/Memories of the Past is owned by Christine Tuggle and carries hand-crafted jewelry.
*Funky Creations is owned by Jody and Van Funk and carries vintage toys, badges and books. Also handmade broken glass windows and other creative designs.
There are even more wonderful vendors here!
The Department Store is celebrating its 8th Anniversary on Friday, Sept. 6, with guest Tim Wilson, curator of the Willie Hodges Booth Museum located at Patrick Henry Memorial Library in Brookneal, doing a presentation and display on Brookneal history at the store from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. He will be telling Brookneal stories of how it was formed into the town it is today. With his help, there is now a Brookneal History Wall of photos and items featuring Brookneal History. “We will also be giving away handmade tote bags to the first 16 customers with a purchase. Come join us on September 6 and the 7th for door prizes and refreshments. Thank you for an amazing eight years,” says Pool.