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Discover Fauquier December 2017
18
Jim Timberlake, a fifth-generation Fauquier
County resident and the owner of
The
Paint Shop, celebrated his 40th year in
business this year.
Despite coming from
a long line of farmers, Jim took a clerk
position at Sherwin Williams right out
of high school, where he worked for six
years before becoming the manager of a
privately owned paint shop in Warrenton.
Within a year, the owners wanted
to sell the business to him.
The price was a little steep
for a 26-year-old in
1976, but with the help
of his banker and a
little luck, Jim was
able to purchase
a building to start
his own shop by
1978. He had no
business plan
and very little
capital--"Just
the thought that
I could do it,"
he says.
As it turns out, that
attitude was the most
important ingredient
needed to run a business.
With determination, hard
work, and an eye for beauty,
The Paint Shop grew and
developed a visible style
that has set it apart from
other paint suppliers. Over time, Jim
invested his money back into the company
to acquire more inventory, adding lines
like Benjamin Moore, a line of European
paints manufactured in Holland, and the
luxurious British paint line, Farrow & Ball.
You won't find these brands on the shelves
at local box stores, and here's why: the
companies, particularly Dutch ones like
Fine European Paints, grind their paint
pigments the old-fashioned way to maintain
a rich look and quality that cheaper brands
can't emulate. Indeed, consumers who use
these higher-end products report colors
with such depth that they look like fabric on
the wall. "The Dutch were the first people
to manufacture paint," says Jim. "Twenty-
five percent of all paint made in the world
is made in Holland. They've been making
paint longer than we've been a country."
Because of the availability of these fine
paints, outstanding customer service, and
the store's unique appearance (a full-size
terra cotta warrior from China stands in
the window), The Paint Shop has
earned a reputation for being
a boutique paint store. Its
distinct personality and
penchant for quality
products may be
influenced in part
by the significant
a m o u n t o f
traveling Jim has
done.
"Traveling is the
greatest form of
education--it
opens your eyes
up to the rest of
the world," says
Jim, who has been
to the Great Wall of
China; the Pyramids;
Petra, Jordan; Machu
Picchu; and Kathmandu
in the Himalayas. He has
also walked some of the
pilgrim paths of Europe (most
recently Spain's Camino de
Santiago, or Way of Saint James) and has
seen much of America by car, motorcycle,
and Airstream trailer. His experiences
have certainly shaped his approach to
business, which has drawn loyal employees
throughout the decades. "The people
on my staff allow me to do this kind of
traveling," he says. "They have been good
to me. I can leave knowing there won't be
any problems."
When Jim talks about his employees,
it sounds like he is talking about family
members. Heather Woodward, Jane
Boswell, and Emily Vega are his key
employees, and have collectively given
39 years to The Paint Shop--Heather
as a design consultant, Jane as the
bookkeeper, and Emily as the manager
of day-to-day operations. "You can't
get through life without help from other
people," says Jim. "I couldn't have made
it without support from family, friends,
and employees for the past 40 years. I
hope that the store will still be part of the
community long after I'm gone." To learn
more, call
(540) 347-4484.
Business
Profile
Quality Lasts:
The Paint Shop Turns 40
Jim Timberlake
Jim Timberlake, May 1993
~ Caitlin Scott
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