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Wilsonians in the market for vintage decor or unique and quirky giftables can now head over to Something Old Something New in a historic home on the 400 block of Nash Street.
“We are preservationists, so we thought this was a beautiful house worthy of restoration,” said co-owner Scott Gordon. “And from a business point of view, it is the perfect location. This is the gateway to downtown and the gateway to Barton College, plus it is only five blocks from our house.”
Gordon and his life and business partner Robert Hignite moved to Wilson three years ago from the Midwest. The duo were in the market for a historic home in a smaller town, but near larger city amenities. About 650 houses later, they picked Wilson.
“We moved six semi-loads of items,” said Hignite, who owned five stores in Wisconsin for years. “The first truck tried to get in our house, but had issues, so we were renting warehouse space and unloaded the semis there, then loaded stuff into U-Hauls to take to our house. During all that, I kept passing this house and it was for sale. We weren’t ready then, but I told myself, ‘Sometime I’ll have that house.’”
Once the couple settled in, they purchased the 1883 Queen Anne Victorian house next to Western Sizzlin’ on Nash Street and immediately got to work.
“We bought it in October (2018) and the next day we were interviewing painters for the outside and they started painting the next week,” Gordon said. “Before we even closed on the house, we cut the grass and trimmed the bushes to really benefit the whole neighborhood. The neighborhood is extremely important to us and we wanted to be good neighbors.”
The duo spent months replacing electrical systems, repairing and painting plaster and completing other upgrades.
“This place has been a shop since the 1930s,” Gordon said. “You would think it had been altered and changed a lot through the years, but everything is the same. Every spindle on the front porch was there, so from a preservationist point of view, it was a dream situation.”
Throughout the restoration, many longtime Wilsonians dropped in and shared stories of shopping for gifts as a kid or picking out wallpaper with their parents through the years. Gordon and Hignite said they love to hear stories about the house and tell some of their own.
“There was so much in one of the workrooms that a closet had been blocked off and not opened since the ‘50s,” Hignite recalled. “There are dresses and shoes and Christmas decorations in there. There were even letters from their daughter when she went off to college. It was like a time capsule and we didn’t disturb it.”
Once the restoration was complete, Gordon and Hignite stocked the rooms full of vintage items and new merchandise. The couple received final approval to open at 2:50 p.m. Friday and opened for business at 2:55 p.m.
“We’re trying to find our niche and we want to hear from people about what they are looking to find,” Gordon said.
“We are still opening hundreds of boxes and finding stuff,” Hignite said. “We’ll have items that are trendy today and items that were trendy years ago. If you stop in one week, it’ll be different the next week because you never know what you’re going to find here.”
Since Hignite operated stores in Wisconsin, he said much of his merchandise is from the Midwest and customers will be unable to find it elsewhere in the South.
“When he closed his shops in Wisconsin, we held on to some of the inventory, but we also travel all over the United States,” Gordon said. “We’re always going to antique fairs and garage and church sales. Anywhere we see the word ‘sale’ we’ll check it out because you never know what you’ll find and that is the fun part for us.”
The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays with extended hours during the holidays, including today. Call the store at 252-281-5176 for more information and visit tinyurl.com/w7qwqqy to stay abreast of updates through the store’s Facebook group, “Something Old Something New of Wilson NC.”
McDonald’s restaurants across the country recently debuted a new way to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities, including seven houses in North Carolina that help families stay near their hospitalized children. For years the company only had a donation box on the counters, but now customers can round up purchases at the counter or at the digital self-order kiosks with the change going to the nonprofit.
“With every cent donated to RMHC of NC, McDonald’s customers are providing local families something priceless — time together — and we cannot thank them enough for their support and generosity,” said Fred Huebner, a McDonald’s owner and RMHC of North Carolina board president. “Round Up for RMHC makes giving easier and we hope this innovative approach to fundraising will continue to support our seven houses across the state for many years to come.”
It costs an average of $80 a night to house a family in the facilities across North Carolina, and the nonprofit provided 50,786 overnight stays to 3,840 families in 2018. While the donation boxes at the registers are not going away, there was a 15% drop in donations in 2018, so company officials are hopeful the new digital way to donate will help bolster donations. Visit www.RMHC.org/mcdonaldsgiving to learn more.
Got an idea for news to include in next week’s Main Street Minute? Don’t hesitate to reach out to me at 252-265-7821 or email@example.com.