By Missy Schrott | [email protected]
Studio Antiques & Fine Art, an antique store located at 524 N. Washington St., will close at the end of 2019 after nearly 40 years in business, according to owners Richard Totoiu and Lois Boyles.
The husband and wife duo opened the antique store in 1982, the same year they moved to Alexandria.
“At the time, there were a lot of other antique dealers in Alexandria, and that was a draw because people would come from a distance and spend the day here, have lunch and visit a half dozen or more shops,” Totoiu said.
Totoiu said his and his wife’s decision to close the shop is related to the cost of doing business in Alexandria and the decline in antique store popularity.
“We’ve lost a lot of antique dealers here in Alexandria. There’s precious few of us left,” Totoiu said. “There’s less interest in antiques, especially furniture, than there used to be.”
The store will close at the end of 2019, although it will reopen for some weekends in January and February. Once they officially shut down the brick-and-mortar location, Totoiu and Boyles will continue to operate Studio Antiques & Fine Art as an online business. They will no longer sell furniture, but will continue to offer antique art and accessories.
“It’s been a great business,” Totoiu said. “We love it. Most people get into it not necessarily to make money, but to do what they like. And for us, everyday’s been not going to work at all because we like what we do.”
Totoiu and Boyles own the building at 524 N. Washington St. and are determining whether they will sell or lease the property.
Totoiu said he’s looking forward to continuing to sell antiques online.
“People sometimes ask me, ‘You’ve been a dealer for decades and decades. What’s your favorite antique?’” Totoiu said. “And I always say the same thing. It’s the next one. And it’s true. Collectors and dealers, they’re always looking for something to add to their collection.”