Photo by Bill Rhodes
Lorraine’s Jewelery & Antiques is closing after operating in downtown Asheville since 2001.
After trying to hack it out for a decade, owner Brian Pottow says he just doesn’t think the town is the right match for his business, which specializes in jewelry, vintage watches and antiques.
“I’m not doing the business I should be doing. The tourists come to look at the leaves; they don’t come to look at the jewelry,” he said.
Five years ago, the store relocated to a small room at 10 Battery Park Ave. The previous location at 26 Battery Park, where Kilwins is now located, encompassed five floors and featured a larger variety of goods, including original art work from such greats as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dali. Pattow originally started the business in 1982 in his native South Africa, naming it after his wife, Lorraine. They moved to Asheville in 2001 to be closer to their daughter, who owned Citizens Hardware on Merrimon Avenue at the time.
With his storefront closing, Pattow said he plans to focus on selling his goods at antique shows across the country. He made more money in one weekend at a show in Charlotte than he did in two months at his Asheville store, he said. And it sounds like he’s looking forward to traveling more.
“This is a beautiful country. I need to get out. I’m going to take my goods out and sell them on the road. I’ve never been to Seattle or Portland,” he said. “If I can make enough money for hotel and transportation, I’ll be good.”
He added that he hopes sales from his website will “help keep me alive.”
Pattow plans to keep his storefront open through the holiday season, and is currently offering discounts of 20 percent on a plethora of items.
Photo by Jake Frankel