The Times West Virginian

July 15, 2012

Pickers Paradise specializes in unique treasures

By Jessica Borders
Times West Virginian

WHITE HALL — Pickers Paradise in White Hall takes pride in discovering rare, unique treasurers.

Owners Jake and Mya Hutchinson recently expanded their antique and music store, which has a new name and location. Customers can now find the shop at 3002 White Hall Blvd., a half mile past Walmart on the right beside the Sunoco gas station.

The family-owned business, started in March 2011, was formerly called You Name It and was stationed farther down the road in a small store in the Deerfield Plaza.

Jake said the store started getting a lot of repeat customers over the past year and outgrew its space. He and Mya wanted a larger facility that could better accommodate the needs of customers by housing furniture and larger items, which they previously couldn’t keep in stock.

Not only is the new place on White Hall Boulevard about four times bigger, but it’s also closer to the interstate.

The shop, which was built around an existing house, is beautiful, clean and well lit, and the layout gives it a modern, open feel, he said. Jake likes the friendly, warm atmosphere of the store.

The construction took almost a year to complete, and the new store officially opened July 1.

“We were anticipating and waiting for the move,” Jake said. “We opened up with a bang, with a fully stocked store with fresh inventory.”

Pickers Paradise is not a thrift store or an antique mall, but sells higher-end pieces at affordable prices, he said. Antique toys are a big part of the business, and the shop also has vintage police, firefighter and Boy Scout memorabilia.

“We do a lot with specialty collectibles,” Jake said.

Advertising signs, bicycles, gas pumps and decorated stoneware also fill the store, as well as solid-wood, high-quality dining room sets, bedroom sets and other furniture. He said customers can find a lot of the same items here that they would see on the television show “American Pickers.”

“The unusual and hard-to-find items is what we specialize in,” Jake said.

The business also has a big music aspect, focusing on vintage pre-owned stringed instruments. The store features a variety of guitars, plus strings, cables, amplifiers, picks and all the accessories a music shop would carry.

The Hutchinsons can also order supplies that musicians may need. A small selection of woodwind instruments is available, too.

In addition, customers can find clean, newer model electronics that are guaranteed to work, like PlayStation 3 and other gaming systems, laptop computers and 3D Blu-ray players. This sets Pickers Paradise apart from typical antique stores, Jake said.

As a pawn shop, Pickers Paradise offers cash loans on antiques, instruments and other items.

The business is always on the lookout for pieces to buy, clean up and retail that customers are requesting. Individuals can stop by the store with one item or a truck load of items to try to sell, or can call to set up an appointment for Jake and Mya to visit their house.

Jake said they have sorted through barns and found old signs and antiques that had been buried for years.

“If you have some doubt and you think you’ve got something great, call us before you put it in the yard sale,” he said.

While they generally buy pieces directly from an estate or individual, they also travel to antique shows in Pittsburgh, Pa., Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and Kentucky to bring back items that aren’t available locally.

The Hutchinsons try to find out as much history as they can about anything they buy. Mya said they only purchase items if they can get a good price, because they want to be able to pass the savings along to the customer.

People like dealing directly with the owners when they walk into Pickers Paradise, she said. Mya and Jake are willing to negotiate with individuals who want a better price.

They strive to always treat their customers right, which is what brings people into the shop and keeps them coming back, Mya said.

“I love dealing with people and meeting new people,” she said. “We make sure that we get somebody a fair price on their item. We’re very good on our prices.”

Mya and Jake are both from Fairmont and now live in White Hall. They each grew up around antiques and items their families collected, and over the years Jake has been involved in pawn shops throughout the area.

Watching the show “American Pickers” is what sparked their interest in starting an antique shop of their own. Plus, they wanted to do something where they could spend time together, Mya said.

“It works for us,” she said. “We love being together all the time. That really helps our relationship, too.”

The Hutchinsons have been staying busy at the new location, and Mya thinks they may need to bring on an employee soon to help out.

Pickers Paradise is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1-6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, call 304-363-8800.

Email Jessica Borders at jborders@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @JBordersTWV.