WAYNESBORO – James and Jess Zawatski used to sell curiosity items and old furniture from their Hagerstown, Maryland home and nearby 10-foot by 20-foot storage unit.
But they outgrew both spaces, and, in 2016, leased space in a bigger building at 37 W. Main St
From the looks of things inside the vast James and Jess House of Goods shop in downtown Waynesboro they might need more space.
Until then, and market permitting, the couple will continue pursuing unique and antique finds to sell to curious people from not just the Waynesboro area but from other states, who discovered the Zawatski’s special store online and from word of mouth.
“It started as a hobby of ours,” said James, who was off on Monday but working nonetheless on another project for their livelihood. “And people asked us to find things. It started with a pop-up shop and ended with a brick-and-mortar shop.”
James Zawatski was fascinated with antique furniture and compressed glass as a teenager. His love of all things old, coupled with his and his wife’s business savvy and drive to put together by appearance could almost pass for a museum, a dream metamorphosized into reality.
“We have quite a following on Facebook,” said Jess Zawatski. “We have a variety of items, from vintage glass to furniture. “We do a lot on social media.
“The time we put in is more than what is posted on the sign in front of the store.”
James seconded that remark, adding “We work seven days a week. It’s a lot of work.”
The Zawatski’s House of Goods is open six days a week. It’s closed on Sundays, because Sundays “are our picking days,” said Jess.
They travel up and down the East Coast and to the Midwest in search of precious items to please anyone’s nostalgic and sentimental side.
Due to the size of the building on Main Street, James and Jess made the decision to bring on vendors for a vendor fee.
The work has paid off. The Zawatskis also got help from Mainstreet Waynesboro Director of Economic Development Bill Kohler as they were on the quest for a property to fulfill their goal of obtaining a “brick-and-mortar” store.
It so happens that the Waynesboro area, perhaps all of South Central Pennsylvania, is a haven for antique seekers. And, as long as there is a market for their wares, James and Jess will keep traveling the country purchasing goods to sell.
“We get a lot of grandparents who come with their grandkids and show them things – like rotary phones.”
The store is laid out in sections, and each vendor offers his or her own unique interests and talents.
Visit James and Jess’ House of Goods online at www.jamesandjesshouseofgoods.com or follow them in Facebook and Instagram.
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