It's all about diversity
Hillsboro-area residents have a new one-stop option for lots of services, thanks to a new enterprise opened by Jim Burton.
"I purchased the entire building about four and a half months ago, and we've done a lot of renovations. Brought it up-to-date more or less," said Burton.
Burton had some help giving the building a face lift, but did a lot of the work himself since he is retired from the U.S. Forest Service.
"I redid the front of the building, some siding, finished the eaves and overhangs, put the new roof on, painted everything inside and got it ready for business," he said.
The two businesses that remained in the building were the laundromat and Jeannie's styling salon. One section of the building, that previously sat vacant, is a new businesses with a modern concept that is still catching on.
"This is an eBay consignment store. If you have something that you want sold on eBay, you bring it in and I help you research it and figure out how to price it. Then I take the pictures and write the descriptions and get it on the Internet," said Burton.
Burton also answers any e-mails or questions that may arise concerning the item. It's a one stop-shop for anyone wanting to sell something on the Internet.
"If it sells; I collect the funds for you, pack it, ship it and make sure they get it and they're satisfied with it," he said.
eBay then takes a cut and Burton receives a percentage, as well.
"Then I call you and tell you to come get your check," laughed Burton. "Right now I've got like eight different items on eBay."
Burton sells anything and everything, from a framed Dolly Parton picture, to antique toys and signs.
The idea is new to some people, but Burton believes as more people come to understand what it is, the new venture will do better and better. The convenience and safety of Burton's services take the hassle out of selling something on the Internet.
"I've even had a couple people that didn't have computers that have asked me if I'll buy things on eBay for them. I told them I'd do it for a small percentage. Buying on there is easy, selling is hard," said Burton.
Next door to Burton's eBay consignment shop is Deb Ann's Fabrics, a mecca for quilters and stitchers.
"We're a fabric shop. We have a lot of stuff for quilters; a lot of fleece, flannels, some craft stuff we make," said Debbie Walker, owner of the shop. "A selection of yarn, embroidery thread, a little bit of everything. We also do a lot of mending and hemming, sewing on buttons, little minor things, whatever people need really."
The hand-crafted gifts include placemats and napkins, pillows and afghans, baby blankets, pocket books and jewelry. Not only does Walker sell jewelry, but jewelry making supplies, as well.
"There's a lot of people in the area that make jewelry. You don't have to go clear to Beckley or Lewisburg to get something if you need it."
Walker has ranged far and wide to get her hands on some of the materials she sells.
"I went up to the Amish country in Ohio recently and got a new shipment of fabrics, a lot of stuff that I can't get on line from my supplier. You can't get fleece very close, and we've done really well with the fleece. You don't have to know how to sew to make blankets and things."
Walker also provides instruction in sewing and quilting for those who want to learn.
"I do offer some classes. I offered a class on the no-sew blankets, I'm in the process of starting some beginner classes on how to coordinate colors and basic sewing," she said. "I'm happy to show people. Give me a call and come on in and we'll get you started if you want to learn how to sew."
Next door to the fabric shop is Jeannie's Stylin Salon, one of the two businesses that Burton retained in the building. Jeannie's offers hair cuts, styling, shampoo and sets, coloring, perms, foils, cap highlights; pretty much everything, according to Ashli Cutlip.
Cutlip, of Marlinton, is a third-generation stylist and a recent graduate from the Beckley Beauty Academy. She started there in November with longtime salon operator Jeannie Sharp, of Hillsboro.
"She's fresh out of school and bringing in a lot of new clientele to the salon," said Burton.
Cutlip admits it's been a lot of work getting settled in, but she enjoys the time she spends with her clients, chatting about the latest fashions and trends.
"Are bangs in or are bangs out? Are curls in? Should I go straight? Should I go short? A lot of people want to know what kind of brush I use, how do you make it poofy in the back? Stuff like that. I like that, I feel like maybe I'm teaching them something. When people come in and say, 'give me something new', I'm like, 'awww yes!'" laughed Cutlip. "I like to try something new, something different."
Cutlip maintains a method of sizing up her clients before she gets down to business.
"You ask questions before you start; what do you do to your hair in the morning? Do you wash it? Do you blow dry it? Do you wash and go? Do you use products? How much maintenance do you want to do to your hair?" she explained.
At the end of the building sits the other business that Burton retained, the only laundromat in Hillsboro. Burton spent time renovating the laundromat to make it cozier for customers.
"I cleaned everything up. Painted everything, got all the lights working, decorated a little bit, got all the machines running, put in central heat and air so it's a little more comfortable. It needed some dressing up. I don't think the laundromat is anybody's favorite hangout," joked Burton, "But when you got to go, it might as well be clean and look nice, that's what I'm shooting for."
Burton said the hardest part about his new endeavor is getting the word out.
"We've been open a little over four months. There's probably a lot of folks in the county that don't know Hillsboro has got a laundromat or a fabric store or a beauty shop."