Friends and family gathered with Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce officials at 420 Railroad Street in Olive Hill Saturday morning to celebrate a ribbon cutting at a new business, Trinity Sisters Designs, which is now open in a building which had to be vacated after devastating flooding in 2010.
Lincoln and Christy Stamper credited the help of family during the recent renovation effort.
“It was White Town Cleaners for 60 or 70 years,” Stamper said in a previous interview with the Carter County Post, explaining the business was owned and operated by Ralph and Alice Asher for about 40 of those years, and the dry cleaning business was later acquired by the Hignite family.
Stamper smiles as he recalls visiting the dry cleaning shop with his grandmother around 20 years ago, “Back when Olive Hill was more active.”
The floods of 2010 spelled the end of the business as flood waters damaged nearly every structure in downtown Olive Hill. While the decade-old damage was notable, Stamper said he was pleasantly surprised to find the structure itself to be in excellent condition.
“It’s all in great shape. It’s kind of like me – it just needs a bit of cosmetic work,” he said with a hearty chuckle.
“The first thing we did was plant flowers in pots and cleared the trees growing out of the steps,” he said, adding the entire exterior will soon be pressure washed.
Stamper became interested in the building when he drove by one day and noticed a small, paper sign in the window. He tracked the building’s owner, Carol James (through Hazel Messer), reviewed financial options and made an offer. Asked if he got a good deal, Stamper nods and says, “Oh yeah. Absolutely.”
The building was also full of antiquated, and quite heavy, dry-cleaning equipment including steam presses and a massive centrifuge.
“It was a large pile of scrap metal in a dry building,” he said, explaining he had to build a skid for a “Cyclone” unit and pull it out of the side door with help from a tractor.
A fan of old things, Stamper confessed he had a fondness for the old machines.
“Everything I have is 40-plus years old, so I took a liking to that stuff. But, we just don’t have room for it,” he said.
With the old machines out of the way, Stamper and family tackled the old pipes and other non-functional lines and began looking at ways to use some of the old stuff, including the racks used to store the cleaned clothes. The old cash register, for example, will likely be used as a display piece and old desks will be used for counter space.
The second floor is a three-bedroom apartment which will be renovated and offered as a rental property, Stamper said, and a space in back will be used for a landscaping and small-engine repair business to be called Brax Lawn Care & Small Engine Repair.
Trinity Sisters Design, which was a home-based business offering custom apparel, boutique apparel and other items including jewelry, home decor and signs, is now welcoming customers.
The shop is owned by Chisty Stamper and her sisters, Ashley Johnson and Brooke Nolen.
“We have a Facebook page and an Etsy shop. People can find us at both of those places right now,” Christy Stamper said previously, explaining she and her sisters have plans to offer high quality items at affordable prices.
Stamper said she is definitely looking forward to moving in and getting busy.
“It will be amazing because doing it out of the house … it’s just too much,” explaining she most often meets her customers at Dairy Queen to do business.
For more information call 606-315-2073.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON
Carter County Post