Opens Shop Downtown

Area residents Paula and Ray Harvey recently opened My Vintage Varia in Downtown Washington, at 120 W. Main St. The shop offers a mix of vintage items from various periods, wedding items, clothing, industrial, mod, shabby and other items. A grand opening is scheduled for Friday, March 28, beginning at 6 p.m.      Missourian Photo.

From the outside of Downtown Washington’s newest shop, passersby can catch a glimpse of everything My Vintage Varia has to offer.

Each window is decorated with a vignette of items from a certain period, explained owners Paula and Ray Harvey.

The shop, located at 120 W. Main St., officially opened in January — and though the Harveys weren’t necessarily planning on opening a shop, everything fell into place.

“We had been looking for warehouse space to work on pieces and have everything in one place,” Paula Harvey said.

“Without having it sprawled all over Franklin County,” Ray Harvey added.

The idea for the shop started last summer, Paula Harvey said, when she and one of her four daughters started an online Etsy shop by the same name. The Etsy shop closed, but the name stuck.

The word “varia” means variety, which is exactly what the shop offers — a mix of everything. That includes early American patterned glass as well as new products.

“The new product I may paint to fit the genre,” Paula Harvey said. “We have some mod, some mid-century, industrial, shabby, retro, Danish modern — we kind of do it all.”

Paula Harvey said “vintage” can mean different things to different people, but typically, vintage starts at 1980s and older.

The couple said they will consign items, but only if it’s a good fit for the shop.

The Harveys said they’re excited to see where the vintage trend takes them.

“We see things in a different way,” Ray Harvey said. “Regardless of what era it’s from, it’s a beautiful thing to us. Good design is always good design, whether it’s from the ’40s or the ’80s.”

Paula Harvey joined a group of vintage vendors, Prairie Traveling Vintage Shows, which tells members of upcoming events and pop-up shows.

The Harveys will continue to travel and sell items one or twice each month.


The couple both have experience in a wide array of activities. Both have worked with antiques and vintage items on and off for many years.

Ray Harvey has been a freelance artist/illustrator for 27 years. He helps paint and finish the items in the shop.

Paula Harvey has experience in many fields, but all add to her vision and design.

The couple previously owned Choco L’Art in Downtown Washington. The restaurant closed in the summer of 2009.

Some have asked if there are plans to reopen a restaurant. The Harveys said they’ll just have to decide when the time comes.

“We’re still unpacking,” Ray Harvey said. “We’re just taking it one step at a time.”

Hours, Grand Opening

Shop hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The shop has a Facebook page and can be found online at

A grand opening will be held Friday, March 28, beginning at 6 p.m.