Saturday Gov. Joe Manchin awarded three citizens and 14 businesses in Jefferson County for their service.
One of the 14 West Virginia Small Business awards went to the Dickinson and Wait Craft Gallery in Shepherdstown. The gallery sells homemade arts and crafts from local artisans and from across the country.
Debbie Dickinson and Meredith Wait started the gallery 20 years ago. Dickinson accepted the award on behalf of the people that she works with at the gallery.
“I am deeply honored that our business was considered for this citation and pleased to be considered among so many other distinguished business in the County,” she said.
Wait said on receiving the award that she was very happy.
It was very exciting to receive the award and honor. We were honored to be part of the group that received the award from the West Virginia Small Business Association,” Wait said
Dickinson and Wait craft gallery opened its doors in 1990.
“The last 20 years have flown by. It’s been remarkable how the business has done over the last 20 years,” Wait said.
The gallery which is known for selling excellent art and craftworks has survived both the good times and bad. Dickinson remembers those days.
“With hard times, hard choices in business had to be made. Luckily we made the right choices. The other reason is that the arts we supply are unique in that the crafts are all handmade. Many people who visit our shop comment on the rarity of the art pieces. This has created great interest in our shop and helped us survive the hard times.”
Wait joined the gallery three weeks after it opened. Both agree that they complement each other.
“(Meredith) has been a great partner,” Dickinson said. “Meredith is a people person and is great with the customers, and I am good at keeping the books and other administrative duties connected with the shop.”
“We feed off of each other,” Wait said. “It’s made for a strong partnership.”
Both woman love Shepherdstown and think it is one of the biggest reasons that the gallery has done so well.
“The biggest thing that is a real plus is that Shepherdstown was a great place for a business like ours,” Dickinson said. “We have strong support from the local community. People who live in Shepherdstown shop in Shepherdstown. The customers are savvy shoppers who know what they want to buy from us when they come in.” “Without our loyal customers we would not have succeeded. It is our loyal and loving customers and the artists who supply the artworks for our shop that has kept us going the last 20 years,” Wait said.