Un/common Places

Virginia Hardware

Virginia Hardware
Virginia Hardware was a part of Arlington since 1924.  Harry Goldman operated the business in Rosslyn then, but moved to Clarendon in 1963.  In 1985 Harry’s son Allen hired 16 year old Rick Iglesias,  who had been referred by the Arlington Career Center, to work at the store.    From Allen, Rick learned not only about the hardware business but also to “go from being afraid of people to at the end you can solve anything for anyone.  You could talk to people; you can answer the phone; you can handle the difficult ones.”  Allen became a mentor to Rick and, in 1998, he helped Rick to buy the business.  Rick says, “ I tell everyone, even though I paid for stuff. . .I still feel like almost as if he gave me everything,  because of him trusting me with the store.”  Sadly, though, Virginia Hardware closed its doors in September of 2005.  Changing times and the high cost of running a small business forced owner Rick Iglesias to make the difficult decision to cease operations:
“It’s a great need, I think, for the community and for the county, but it’s one of those things that doesn’t make any money.  It’s a lot of nickel and dime sales, finding that one screw, the one nut for customers.  They walk out of here really happy when they spend ten cents, but it doesn’t really help us. . . It’s sad for me, but I guess everything has an end.”  

Photo copyright Cynthia Connolly 2005 for Arlington Cultural Affairs