• November 16Boys placed 9th out of 12 teams with Loudon Valley placing 1st with 47pts

  • November 16Basketball, Swimming and Track are just starting up, so stay tuned for scores!

  • November 12Boys XC Places 9th in State, Steck 3rd

Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

Local Business Owner Explains Motivation, Inspiration

Isabella Cyrus, Op-Ed Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Located on Monticello Ave is undoubtedly one of the most unique store Williamsburg has to offer. As soon as you step foot inside Retro Daddio, it is nearly impossible to not be intrigued. From classic Marilyn Monroe and Elvis merchandise to Harry Potter and Star Trek, this store certainly has a lot to offer. I had the pleasure of speaking to the woman behind it all.

I first had to ask Jen, the store owner, what her inspiration behind it all was.
“I sell things that I love and that speak to me. I created the store to be a place that I would like to shop in and I hoped other people would too. When I started, the big focus was Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne, Wizard of Oz–classic stuff like that. Over the last few years, it’s kind of morphed into half-fandom (Star Trek, Doctor Who, Harry Potter, etc) and half music and I really like the way it’s developing!”

She went on to inform me of the challenges she face upon opening her store. “My biggest challenge in opening the store was getting people to know we existed. The original store was in New Town and we lasted about a year there before we moved to our current location in Monticello Shopping Center. Between the high rent and low traffic, it was a very difficult year. Our current challenge is financing. We’ve been approved for a Small Business Administration loan to add some new product lines and equipment, but we need to come up with the down payment for the loan (it’s kind of like getting a mortgage–you have to put money down before you receive the loan money).”

Jen also shared with me her reason for being located in Williamsburg, as well as what she enjoys about being a business owner. “I lived in the area from 1993 to 2005 before moving to Las Vegas to manage an Elvis museum (and later managed the merchandise for Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian Resort). When I decided to move into a brick and mortar store, I sold my house and used the money, plus the little bit of life insurance that I received after my husband died to put down the security deposit and buy fixtures and some of the inventory. I chose Williamsburg because I was able to crash with some family members while I got things up and running and because Williamsburg really needs some fun stores!”
“As a business owner, I love seeing what people respond to when they come into the store. Talking to someone and watching them get excited over the things they’re buying is awesome! Since we have local musicians perform at the store pretty regularly, I also really like introducing people to these talented performers. There is a wealth of local talent here in the Burg–people just need to know it’s out there so they can go listen to these folks! My least favorite part is probably not getting paid for the last few years–it takes a while to become profitable. It’s a struggle, but it’s totally worth it.”

I also asked Jen if she had any funny stories to tell.
“Well, I don’t know if this is funny to anyone but me… When I was a teenager, I was super obsessed with music–songs, artists and what inspired them, different genres, trying to get lyrics correct (in the days before the internet, it wasn’t so easy!)–you name it. I remember my mother giving me a bunch of grief for spending so much time on this interest and asking what the point of it was and what I thought I would accomplish with it. Well….the back 1/3 of the store is full of used CDs and a large selection of vinyl records. We’ve won an award for Best Music Store on the Peninsula from Coastal Virginia Magazine two years in a row. We host live music in the store (as I said). People ask me for information, recommendations, and valuations of their collections. Hey Mom? There’s your answer.”

Jen is certainly as interesting a woman as her store is a shopping destination, and it is always informative to know more about the person behind the creativity.
As we were wrapping up our conversation, Jen offered one last thing she wants the public to know:

“Please come check us out at 218 Monticello Avenue–the shopping center with Nawab and Rita’s Italian Ice. Like our Facebook page to find out about new arrivals, conventions we’re vending at, in-store performances, etc. Oh–and we offer a 10% discount to students and teachers!”

Print Friendly

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Fidget Spinners

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    My First Deer: A Tristen Packer Story

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    DIY Nail Couture

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Amy Krouse Rosenthal

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Prom: Then and Now

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Access for all, Young Life Camp

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Fidget Spinners Trending

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    Life of Harrison Ford

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    My Spring Break

  • Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience

    Lifestyles

    How To Find A Roommate

Retro Daddio’s, a Unique Shopping Experience