Business runs in the family. Scotty and Wesley Vestal follows the steps of their father, Phillip Vestal, who followed the steps of his father, the late Evan Walter Vestal. The chain of businessmen span six decades, to include a newer generation of the Vestal family who are still in elementary school, but learning the family business.
“Yea, I’m his dad, but we’re really brothers. We’re like that close,” said Phillip Vestal about his son Scotty. “Daddy Vestal owned all of these buildings, so it’s kind of like what we’re into. We like to buy and sell. Scotty is an auctioneer.”
With a gleaming smile on his face, Scotty Vestal chimed in saying his family has been in business in Elkin for more than 60 years. Scotty’s grandfather, Evan Vestal, was owner and operator of Kennedy Auto, an icon who conducted business in downtown shops even when health challenges forced him into a wheelchair.
On May 17, elder Vestal passed away at 88 years old, but the family didn’t pack up, nor pack it in. Instead, they huddled as any grieving family would, celebrated the legacy of a man they said is much missed along Main Street, and in unison moved forward.
“That’s what my great-grandfather would want. I miss him… Work was his life. None of this you’re seeing is possible without the hard work of my great-grandfather,” said Ally Vestal, a keen 10-year-old who was observing her father, Scotty, in matters preparing for a grand opening of Vestal Auctions.
Not surprised that his daughter chimed in, while laughing Scotty Vestal said, “This is a family business. Now you can see why.”
According to Scotty Vestal, Elkin lacked an established auction company in the area. Vestal said he learned how to auction at a neighboring facility that used to be in Jonesville. “Now I’m here hoping we can help get people to feed to other businesses here.Hopefully our customers will discover other shops along the street. Downtown is wonderful,” he said.
Vestal Auctions is in its second year of business. “We have an auction firm. We have an auction house in Wilkesboro, too. When this building (on Main Street) finally became available, we jumped on the opportunity,” said Scotty Vestal.
“We’re gearing up. We are finishing up some things. Our grand opening will be Aug. 2. We’re ready for it,” said Phillip Vestal.
Phillip Vestal provided some insight on what he learned from his father. “Father always said if you know the truth, tell them the truth. Dad never told a lie,” said Vestal.
“That’s right. There’s no such thing as an easy dollar. You can always make an extra buck easily, but if you’re dishonest, it will bite you,” said Scotty Vestal.
The Vestal Auctions owner said that lots of items can be resold in any particular auction, but the best auctions are the one’s that have a mix of items.
“You don’t want all of one thing. You want to mix it up. Think about it. Everybody needs something, but not everyone needs that one big item,” said Phillip Vestal.
According to auction policy, customers attending an auction generally walk in and register for free at the reception table. A number will be assigned to each customer. Items are showcased by the auctioneer who suggests a starting bid. Customers show their number to the auctioneer should an item of interest be pursued. The highest bidder wins the product. Cash and credit cards are accepted.
“Everything we do is at auctionzip.com. You can pull up a calender and apply your zip code,” said Scotty Vestal. The site populates auctions within a 20-mile radius. It features pictures of items previewed and lists special information pertaining to the auctioned product.
Vestal Auctions has a kitchen once used by Chill on Main which recently moved into Twenty One and Main. “Yes, our store has a snack bar. All of the kitchen equipment belongs to the building. Chill left, but all we did was cut out this serving window. Snacks and cold drinks and coffee,” said Scotty Vestal.
Pausing for a moment to briefly reflect on what it means to have an opportunity on opening an auction business in Elkin, just steps away from where his grandfather built a legacy, a humbled Scotty Vestal said that the journey means so much to him and his family and that he’s in it all the way.
“This has turned into my next full-time job,” said Scotty Vestal. “When I’m not in uniform, I’m here.” Vestal is a police officer with the Jonesville Police Department.
Ally Vestal turned toward her father and said, “I like the hard cop stuff in the news. I like being at auctions too with my family. I want to see how this works out.”
Vestal Auctions is located at 120 E. Main St. The Aug. 2 auction is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. sharp.
Anthony Gonzalez may be reached at 336-835-1513 or on Twitter @newsgonz.