Pop-Up Antique Shop Combines New Concept with Old Items

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A barber pole from the 1930s is among the collection Donna Berl has amassed more than 35 years of antique-hunting. (Courtesy Donna Berl)
A barber pole from the 1910s is among the collection that Donna Berl has amassed over 35 years of antique-hunting. (Courtesy Donna Berl)

Antique hunters have a new place to search for lost treasures thanks to a pop-up antique shop that has taken up residence in McLaws Circle.

Owner Donna Berl has been collecting antiques for the past 35 years, and during that time has amassed an eclectic assortment of antiques, which consists primarily of 17th-, 18th- and 19th-century American and English items.

Highlights of the collection include a 1915 Koch barber pole, a 1933 slot machine, a spinning wheel, clocks and tube radios.

Berl, who is in the process of consolidating her home and downsizing her collection, first had the idea for a pop-up antique shop in January after several friends remarked that her extensive collection of around 250 items could be its own antique store.

“I’m taking a modern concept – pop-up stores – and applying it to a very old line of work,” Berl said.

The pop-up shop, called Wiliamsburg Pop-Up Antiques and located next to Maurizio’s Italian Restaurant in James City County, first opened for business about two-and-a-half months ago, and Berl anticipates it will continue to operate through the holidays and possibly beyond.

“I’m truly looking for a good home to take pieces that I have loved over the years,” Berl said.

Though the vast majority of the items available for purchase are genuine antiques, Berl also has a small stock of modern items purchased at estate sales. Despite this, she much prefers the look and craftsmanship of older items.

“Everything today is so Ikea, screwing together a punch of pieces and flimsy. Antiques are so much warmer,” Berl said. “They’ve been a passion of mine for 35 years, and I’m just looking for other people who can appreciate them.”

The store will operate from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays for the next several months. For updates on the business, check its Facebook page.