The town of Dagsboro holds a lot of history, which is also true of one of the town’s newest shops, Beach Uniques.
Nearly every piece that can be found in the Main Street storefront has been recycled and transformed into something more useful and decadent. Driftwood benches, barn door farmhouse tables and hollowed-out tree-branch sculptures are displayed proudly throughout the showroom.
The local couple that owns the shop, Travis Schaeffer and Stacey Doney, collaborate on each piece that they put up for sale.
“We like to say that I bake the cake and she puts the icing on it,” said Schaeffer, explaining how he crafts the pieces for Doney to paint and finish.
The whole family gets involved in the action. Doney’s daughter, Sabrina, not only works on the sales floor part-time but also finishes up some of the fine-detail art for her mother. In addition, both of the couple’s fathers are retired and help out by searching for old doors and windows with the potential to be crafted into furniture. Their sons also help out with the heavy lifting from time to time, most recently being called upon to carry in a cabinet they’ve dubbed “Gigantor.”
Naming their pieces isn’t out of the ordinary for the couple. Walking around the shop, you’ll find “The Mad Hatter Chair,” “The Leopard Buffet,” “The Wedding Cake Bench,” and, of course, you’d be hard pressed to miss “Gigantor.”
While woodworking and painting hasn’t always paid the bills for the couple, Doney does have professional painting experience and Schaeffer has always practiced his trade as a hobby. The couple actually met while working for the post office, before deciding to open up shop, and Schaeffer actually still works there, balancing his time between both jobs.
“It was kind of a hobby for us. We enjoyed making things like this, and it just got out of hand,” Schaeffer said with a laugh. “It’s a labor of love.”
Having watched each handcrafted work of art evolve from its inception, it isn’t always easy to give it up for sale, according to Schaeffer.
“Probably at least every other day I say, ‘That would look good in our house,’” Doney acknowledged with a laugh as Schaeffer jokingly accused her of becoming a furniture hoarder.
The shop, located at 33119 Main Street in Dagsboro, is based out of an 1800s-era former general store, still displaying the original counters. According to Doney, customers have even asked her to recreate those counters.
Displaying jewelry in an original display case, as well, Doney said she is currently looking for a local jewelry dealer to work with. They also sell unique pottery out of the shop, and she said they would ideally like to find a local potter who can produce the kind of pieces that she envisions for the store.
Having only opened up the shop on July 1, the couple said they aren’t quite sure what to expect for the winter. Many of their customers have been passing through on their way to the beach, but they remain confident that the locals will keep them busy in the off-season.
“I have no idea [what to expect]” Doney said.
“We’ll depend on the locals to come in and keep us going,” Schaeffer chimed in.
All the available pieces can be found on the shop’s Facebook page. Right now, the store remains open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day except for Sundays, when they open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.