By Carol Morris Dukes
Grinning like a kid in a candy shop, my first step into this antique wonderland was a lesson in self-control. I’ve seen my fair share of antique shops in my life, but this is a standout!
Baileywyck Shoppes is an antique treasure trove owned by siblings Lisa and Jim Vella and located in a 4000 square foot converted barn tucked behind Lisa’s home at Baileywyck Farm outside of Middleburg. I had passed their shop sign a million times on the back roads between hither and yon, but I never had the time to stop before. On this day, I drove past the sign at the end of Lisa’s driveway once again– but this time I stopped, turned around, and went back. I was alone—had nothing on my to-do list– and thought I’d finally check it out.
Wow. No—- WOW! The Vella’s collection of fantastic furniture pieces run the gamut from elegantly detailed French furniture to mammoth, hand painted architectural pieces from Brazil and Africa. They have everything from rustic industrial furniture to graceful European armoires. The place is brimming with linens, artwork, fine collectibles, rugs and textiles from all over the world. Equestrian items abound (Baileywyck is located in the heart of Virginia’s hunt/horse country, after all…) and include artwork, tableware, furniture, a large selection of British pub signs and antique carousel horses in all shapes and sizes and every level of fine and funky. There is ceramic and pewter tableware as well, with a selection from Vietri, Arte Italica and Vagabond House. This place has got it all.
Their taste leans toward unusual, artistic, one of a kind finds that one usually sees in upscale magazines, but never in real life.
“I started the shop because I am an avid shopper and I love traveling. I lived in England for a few years and while visiting abroad I saw so many beautiful things and soon realized it wasn’t difficult to have items shipped to the US, so I made arrangements with dealers to do so,” explained Lisa.
It only took a few short years for Lisa and her brother to form relationships around the world in order to acquire just about anything potential customers may need. She moved to Middleburg on St Louis Road and opened her shop six years ago. Today, her business is thriving and she recently opened an eBay store as well (http://stores.ebay.com/Baileywyck-Antiques). A visit to Baileywyck Shoppes is a feast for the eyes. Located at 21197 St Louis Road in Middleburg, be sure to check their website for operating hours (www.baileywyckshoppes.com).
Located on a country road, Lisa says that she chose the location primarily to start her other passion: the non-profit organization, “Golden Dreams Therapeutic Riding.”
Golden Dreams Start Here
As if traveling the world and buying antiques and art were not enough, Lisa began a charity, also located on Baileywyck Farm in Middleburg.
Individuals with cognitive, physical and/or emotional disabilities can benefit from therapeutic riding through safe and supervised interaction with equines. Golden Dreams Therapeutic Riding Center, which Lisa founded in 2007, combines her love of horses with her belief of helping those in need. A portion of Baileywyk Shoppes’ sales goes to support Golden Dreams.
Since its founding, Golden Dream has enriched the lives of many children and adults. Riding lessons are given by certified instructors assisted by up to three volunteers per rider. Golden Dreams currently provides services to ± twenty riders, utilizing six horses and with the help of over twenty dedicated volunteers. In addition to riding lessons, Golden Dreams offers Special Needs and Awareness Programs for regional schools and the community at large.
As a nonprofit 501 (C)(3) public charity, its operations are funded purely by private and public donations. Golden Dreams is currently raising funds for its 2012 operational budget (for example, annual care and maintenance of each horse is about $5,000), as well as for improvements to the program, including installation of arena footing. Further information on the program, including how to donate or volunteer, can be found at http://www.goldendreamsriding.com/home.html.
A visit to Baileywyck is a must-do. Skip the big town traffic and meander the back roads to one of Loudoun’s best-kept secrets. Enjoy shopping for one of a kind home furnishings, and help make dreams come true for others while you do!