‘Thief’ at large in Bowling Green
An intriguing bit of genealogy has inspired the name of a business opening today in downtown Bowling Green.
According to research by owner Dustee Stone’s brother, they’re descendents of the Moffett clan that was sent to the colonies to steal horses from the British during the 1700s.
She renamed her business The Scottish Horse Thief in their memory when she moved it to 110 N. Main St. from the Virginia Bazaar in Ruther Glen. It’s a humorous way to give a nod to her heritage and also reflect what she sells, she said.
The conceit for the shop is that a Scottish horse thief has stolen all manner of goods and ridden into the store with his loot. As evidence of his presence, his steed has left vinyl hoofprints that lead from the doorway into the shop.
The “thief” is actually Stone’s team of about 50 pickers who scour estate and yard sales and customers who want to sell or trade. They typically bring vintage earrings, necklaces and bracelets that Stone said are better made than what’s available new at most discount and department stores.
As an example, she held up a brooch accented with rhinestones in prong settings. Today, they’re more likely to be glued on, she said, and go for far more than the few dollars she charges.
The Scottish Horse Thief, formerly known as Somewhere in Time, also carries unique household furnishings such as the chest of drawers made of burl wood on display in the front window and oddities that currently include an assassin’s dagger from Sudan.
A small section in the back of the shop will be set aside for a branch of Suzy Q’s Consignments, which will sell discounted women’s clothing and accessories by such labels as Ann Taylor, Calvin Cline and Coach. Stafford County-based Suzy Q’s is owned by Suzy Dunfee, who is one of Stone’s friends.
Stone ran Somewhere in Time at the Virginia Bazaar for five years before deciding that she needed a larger space and wanted to be open seven days a week. The Bazaar is only open on weekends.
She is keeping that name for her online business, which specializes in higher-end and gold vintage jewelry. It’s currently run from home, but she and her husband, Gary Stone, will be moving it into a small office at the store.
They’ll put a computer in the shop later this month so that customers can peruse the site, somewhereintime 44.etsy.com. If they see something they like, they can buy it there instead of having it shipped.
“Women, when we want something, we want it right away,” Stone said with a laugh.
Over the years, her business has developed a following among locals and people traveling up and down Interstate 95 for business or while on vacation.
“The I–95 corridor is a gold mine. It was hard to walk away from, but Bowling Green is a cute little town,” Stone said. “I rent from the mayor [David Storke]. I can’t do better than that.”
SIDEBAR: STORE IS SCHEDULED TO GET A NEW FACE
A fancier façade is in the works for the simple one-story brick building housing the newly opened The Scottish Horse Thief.
Brothers David and John Storke, who purchased 110 N. Main St. in downtown Bowling Green recently, plan to dress up the exterior with paint, molding and an awning.
Store owner Dustee Stone will hold her grand opening when it is completed.
The Storkes, along with the Bowling Green Town Council, are pushing to make the downtown business district more attractive. The modest, mostly one-story brick buildings there were hastily built after a fire destroyed the district on Easter Sunday in 1955.
David Storke, who is Bowling Green’s mayor, has been looking to nearby towns for ideas on how to make 110 N. Main St. more appealing. He snapped photos of retail shops in Kilmarnock, which has revitalized its downtown, and also talked to the people responsible for improving the façade at Ristorante Renato in downtown Fredericksburg.
He said he especially liked how paint made a big different to the exterior of Renato’s, which made one building look like two, and in downtown Kilmarnock, where it helped give each brick building a unique look.
“It just makes such a difference,” Storke said. “Nobody wants to paint brick, but if you don’t have pretty brick, paint it.”
The Scottish Horse Thief takes up one side of 110 N. Main St., and the Storke brothers want the other side also to be used for retail instead of office space.
The building has housed a number of businesses over the years, including Stone Creek Antiques, which moved to R&R Antiques in downtown Fredericksburg, as well as a Cablevision office and a music store.
The Scottish Horse Thief, said David Storke said, “will be an adrenaline shot in the arm for downtown Bowling Green.”
Cathy Jett: 540/735-1975