Martha Lamp and Kim Davis are bringing Nostalgia to downtown Parkersburg.
The two business partners held an open house Friday night for their antique mall at 810 Market St. that will be opening at 10 a.m. today. The business is in the former Parkersburg Paint store and the building recently housed Blennerhassett Antiques.
"We rented it immediately after it closed at the end of October," Lamp said, and began remodeling the inside. The building is owned by Gary Traugh, who will sell and display his Coca-Cola memorabilia and old toys in the store.
Lamp expects 20 vendors to sell items in Nostalgia. There will be antiques, primitives, vintage, retro and unique items. Painted furniture, stained glass, quilts and crafts will be offered.
"We are pretty well full," Lamp said Sunday. "The vendors are creating their own small stores in here."
Trampus Hill of Wood County has an area of the store set up like an old gas station.
Amy Johnson of Parkersburg, one of the vendors, is excited about the downtown store's prospects. She will be selling old toys, glass, pottery and jewelry she has made out of found objects.
Johnson, who also maintains booths at antique malls on Emerson Avenue and in Marietta, said she hopes new businesses such as Nostalgia will bring back downtown Parkersburg to the commercial vibrance it enjoyed when she was growing up.
"I see the potential," Johnson said. "I have warm sentimental feelings about downtown Parkersburg."
She mentioned that Lamp and Davis will provide eye-catching displays in the front windows.
Lamp believes the city is on the right track for revitalizing its downtown. She wants to see more downtown businesses remain open at night, something she plans to do.
For now, Nostalgia is open from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 12:30-5 p.m. Sunday.
The key to operating a successful antique shop is to offer a mix of items that appeals to various tastes, Lamp said.
Lamp and Davis rent space in the Norwood Antique Mall in Marietta, a "sister store" owned by Eric Oiler. And Oiler will be selling items in Nostalgia.
The two women hope those attending today's Victorian Christmas Home Tour & Tea in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District will stop by the antique mall.
Eleven candidates to replace John Hoffman as Artsbridge executive director met informally with Artsbridge search committee members Monday night at the Blennerhassett Hotel.
Lee Rector, Artsbridge board president, said he was impressed by all the candidates who attended the meet-and-greet reception in a second-floor meeting room.
"It is sad we can't hire more than one person," said Becky Deem, chairman of the search committee. "We have a roomful of qualified people."
On Tuesday, the seven-person search committee selected four candidates to interview on Friday for the director's position. A new executive director for the arts organization will be announced next week and be on the job Jan. 1, Deem said. The search committee said all the candidates were from the Mid-Ohio Valley and have grant-writing experience. It was search committee member Tatum Parmer's idea to have a "casting call" for a new Artsbridge director.
Parmer, who served as Marietta Memorial Hospital's chief nursing officer before recently becoming accreditation coordinator at MMH, said the hospital used this type of informal reception for nursing recruitment. These informal conversations are a good way to observe a candidate's personality, she said. Rector said he was hopeful some of those not selected to replace Hoffman, who retired, will want to serve on the Artsbridge board.
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