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New merchants at old Red Barn

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Wilhoits bring antiques and furniture to long-standing barn in Dagsboro

The old Red Barn antiques center in Dagsboro has new shopkeepers and goods.

Tom and Robyn Wilhoit took over the long-standing barn on Clayton Street after outgrowing the home of their first resale shop, Three Good Things, in Millsboro.

The couple agreed, now that they have more than 5,000 square feet of store space to fill, they have many more good things in store for this location.

"The site of the Red Barn is kind of a landmark now," Tom said. "The building is more than 100 years old, and we outgrew the last space."

The Wilhoits started new careers in retail last summer after relocating to their beach house from northern Delaware. First Robyn opened a women's boutique, The Pink Flamingo, and Tom leased an adjacent unit in the same center on Route 24.

But as the inventory at their resale shop continued to grow and sales at the Pink Flamingo stagnated, the couple consolidated their efforts and ran a brisk business moving an eclectic mix of previously owned furniture, home decor and collectibles.

"We expanded into the Flamingo space and things just exploded," Robyn said. "It was just too much."

Now, the Wilhoits have landed a new pad at the Red Barn say it is already a popular spot for customers in their new ZIP code to pick up beds and other vintage and handmade wooden furniture.

The swift success in resale starts with buying, Robyn said, which they tend to do at auctions and estate sales.

"When I shop, I look for things that are vintage and made from good wood," she said. "We look for things that are well built."

Inside, the Red Barn is stocked with solid wood beds, dressers, and china cabinets, and in better weather, the couple has space around the periphery of the building for other large home accessory items.

This is a big change from their situation last summer, when the Wilhoits spent hours each day moving merchandise outdoors to a parking lot that bordered the highway, then back again at the close of business.

With only one employee, Eric Moyer, who Robyn refers to as their go-to guy, the Wilhoits are staying busy setting up their new shop, hoping to eventually open a second floor that will offer an additional 1,000 square feet of sales floor and storage.

"We're not necessarily an antique store, but we have a lot of vintage items you could call eclectic," Tom said. "Already, we have more than enough to fill the store."

For more information about the Red Barn, at 28336 Clayton St., Dagsboro, call 302-927-0369 or search for The Red Barn on Facebook.

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Original Publication Date: January 8, 2016

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