Margaret Lancaster and Rick Ramsey have combined their friendship and love of intriguing decor into a destination for treasure hunters in pursuit of one-of-a-kind items inside their Dog & Pony Show boutique in the heart of downtown Asheville.
Charcuterie boards, check; a full-size zebra hide, check; garage sale goodies, check; designer dog beds, check; collectible teaspoons, check; vintage accent chairs, check; Indonesian sculptures, check; luxury loungewear, check; jewelry, check; hip needlepoint, check; you name it and the list goes on.
“We’re sourcing estate sales, antique shows and auctions for our found treasures by selecting items at markets not sold elsewhere in downtown Asheville, and we’re only buying two of each,” said Lancaster. “It’s the sort of place where if you want it, you should get it, because it’s truly one-of-a-kind.”
Lancaster and Ramsey have been friends for years and have talked about opening a store for a while.
“The timing, for us, right now, was just right,” Lancaster said describing how a pandemic and a kismet conversation paved the way for the friends’ dream to materialize.
“Our store represents a culmination of my love of discovering wanderlust and gypsy spirit,” she said.
The eclectic mix of curios also includes select Dog & Pony-branded merchandise.
In addition to attracting visitors, the owners hope the shop will become a resource for discerning locals and interior designers seeking special and unusual pieces for the home or house staging.
In fact, Lancaster said that since the store’s grand opening a few weeks ago, she and Ramsey have seen several repeat customers.
“The word is getting out,” she said.
Lancaster has honed her eye for uncovering unique accessories from her time living in New York, Paris and Los Angeles. She has enjoyed leadership positions with Estee Lauder and Lancome, as well as Brighton Collectibles, and says she’s always loved collecting artisan items.
As for Ramsey, he’s an Asheville native, born and raised.
Many in the community may recognize him from his role as the environmental control officer for Buncombe County for 24 years, where he dedicated a career to shaping the Asheville Downtown Association. He was the creator of the Asheville Area Arts Council’s Color Ball, and was an events specialist for Asheville Community Theatre.
“The store really feels like a homecoming,” Ramsey said.
Dog & Pony Show is located at 59 Haywood St, and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.