In 1997, Robert H. Ballard founded r.h. ballard shop & gallery which is located in "Little" Washington, VA. His experience spans over 40 years in the art world as a painter, teacher, gallery director, and museum curator in the following locales: New Zealand, San Francisco, D.C., and West Virginia. The business started first as a fine art and rug gallery. Joanie Ballard, his wife, whose life experience was in theatre, music, and design, came on board to help expand the business in 2002 when they purchased a 1929 building right on Main Street. They moved into the living quarters above the business and began their journey.
Together, they combined their love of artful, unique products and merchandise to build a unique shopping experience for a diverse clientele. They fill two floors with an eclectic assortment of fine gifts, gourmet foods, home decor, vintage objects, fine art, rugs, and men's and women's accessories. The shop and gallery is always evolving, changing with new and unique merchandise which is added to their hand-picked collections.
They have received received numerous accolades. Most notably they were voted one of the "2016 Best Gift Shops" in Central Virginia by Readers of Virginia Living Magazine and by the Editors of SOUTHERN LIVING MAGAZINE as one of the "Top 50 Shops In The South." Other notable press can be found in the Washington Post, Richmond Magazine and the Washingtonian Magazine.