on the way to the antique store…a funny thing happened

Whenever I have a few hours of free time I find myself heading off to one of my favorite antique stores.  Well, at least that’s what they are called, but these are not the foo foo antique shops filled with my grandmothers overly ornate furniture.  On the contrary these are very eclectic shoppes that are filled with wonderful things that were once cherished by someone and now they are being re-purposed and up cycled. 

 For many years I have had the desire to own my own coffee shop/bookstore.  I envisioned an old abandoned feed store that I had once seen in a little town coming to life.  I would fill it with wonderful eclectic treasures.  Everything from primitive paint ladders and rusty feed buckets to east Texas pottery and milk glass.  I envisioned a counter where the locals and passersby could enjoy a good cup of coffee and a little conversation.  Maybe there would be a lunch counter where one of the community elders would sit and read the newspaper and drink coffee while entertaining the customers with stories about “back in the day”. 

 There would be a nice selection of books, old and new.  Maybe a few tables where a ladies group could gather for their monthly book club meeting or bible study class.  All the while the entire place would be filled with an ever-changing array of antiques and re-purposed, up cycled discards from days gone by.  I even considered re-opening the feed store to draw in the locals. 

 As God would have it I do manage a bookstore and coffee shop.  It just so happens to be in the lobby of our church.  I must have forgotten to mention the exact address when I was praying about that abandoned feed store on the corner.  For the last 5 years, The church bookstore and coffee shop has been my training ground.  I have learned so much about the retail and food service industry.  How and when to order.  How much to order, when to buy in and when to back off.  I have learned that merchandising is a huge key to being successful. 

 Also, as God would have it, I now live just down the road from that once abandoned feed store.  It now is home to a little re-sale antique/junk store.  The owner is very nice and she carries a mix of boutique items and salvaged architecture pieces.  She does lean a little more to the new than the used.  Her place is strictly retail, so far there are no plans for a lunch counter or coffee shop. 

But a funny thing happened on the way to the antique store…I found a blogging community that is dedicated to re-purposing things and making them beautiful in a totally new and exciting way.  I have been inspired to look into the possibility of renting a space in one of the local antique stores.  I have been gathering treasures for years.  Recently my husband and I have begun to do a little junkin of our own.  We are in the hunting and gathering mode.  I am also looking for just the right shop to rent a booth from. 

 My absolutely favorite antique store has the “no vacancy” sign hanging at the counter.  There waiting list is a mile long.  Although I am not ready to jump in just yet, I do have a basic timeline.  I have also stopped into another one of my local hangouts and inquired about availability, pricing and requirements.  This location is the largest antique store in the county.  Actually it is called an Antique Mall.  That’s a little intimidating.  So so many vendors.  However, they have availability, great lighting, clean bathrooms and a cafe. There are other benefits but the one big negative for me was; a small booth can get lost in the shuffle.  Especially if the space I rent is on one of the farthest isles from the bathroom. 

 There are a couple of other places I am going to look into so that I have a complete picture of the options available.  I have to get my feet wet somewhere, so somewhere is where I will be.  I am praying and waiting for the right door to open.

16 Comments

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16 responses to “on the way to the antique store…a funny thing happened

  1. How exciting!! 😀 I hope you find that perfect place.

  2. Good for you. I guess in a nutshell, there are three groups of dreamers -Those that do, Those that do nothing and Those that wished they would have.
    I like to stroll antique shops as well, at the very least one often comes a way with great story about something they seen there. The graphic I use for my avatar came from a old photograph that someone handed to me while in a shop. I didn’t know the person, they just walked over an handed the image to me, “hey this guy looks like you”. It did kinda sorta, so I have used the image for various things ever since.

  3. Wonderful post, Jeanne. So exciting. Even though the list is a mile long, you might still tack your name on the end of it. Many of the people on it may have already changed their minds or their plans . . . or an opening might come available at a time when they are not available.

    Picture what you want as best you can. See it in your mind’s eye. Let the Universe work its magic.

    • Thanks for the encouragement! I think I will take your advice…I might have to wait but when a space comes available it will be the right time.

  4. Love this post! I’m an antique dealer, kind of. I do it because I love it. Don’t make tons of money at it. But my home is filled from floor to ceiling with antiques and collectibles. You might want to take a peek at some of my Christmas posts. There are pics of my furnishings. I love primitive, painted stuff. Am not really into “high-end” things. Raised my daughter with items she could nick and dent and spill things. That just added to the “antiqueness.” ha, ha.

    I too dream of owning a small gift shop selling vintage items, and some, but not much, repros. I adore wandering into such shops where I can spend hours looking into every nook and cranny. I also very much like wandering about in antique malls where so many dealers come together to sell all kinds of stuff. I’m in such a mall, where I rent space. I started doing that when we lived in Connecticut. Did it there for about 9 years before we moved here to the Pacific Northwest. Have now been in this current mall about 4 years. Antique dealers are fun, and nice about sharing info.

    I wish you all kinds of luck, and fun doing something for which you obviously have a passion. Would love to visit your area some time. Am always interested in antiques around the country. If I’m ever in your neck of the woods, perhaps you could give me tips as to where to antique. I might even purchase something of yours. That would be a great post!

    huge hugs for sharing this…hugmamma. 🙂

    • hugmamma, I am so glad to know that we are kindred spirits in more ways than one. I have been buying the things I love for years. If it appealed to me and was within my budget I would grab it up. I will collect one type of item for a little while and then move on to the next one. I am really hoping eventually it will turn out to be a little more than a hobby.

      enJOY your day!

      • I’m sure it will. One day the right opportunity will present itself, just as it did with me. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for the right moment. You might see something in a local paper, or overhear a conversation, or you can even ask at antique shops if they’re looking for dealers to rent spaces. You should also look into a resale license, so you don’t have to pay tax until you sell the item. Do you ever ask if there might be a discount on an item? You should. Dealers often offer at least a 10% reduction. Sometimes it depends on the price. I don’t give a discount unless something’s over $50. That’s because I try to keep my prices low, so that things sell. I don’t like to hold onto things for years. I prefer to move merchandise, so I can get out and hunt for more goodies.

        always happy to share re antiquing…hugmamma…and you have a bless you day too! 🙂

  5. Jeanne, it sounds like you have all your ducks in a row there — when the time is right the right space will come along. If it’s meant to be, you will be ready!

  6. Hi again! Just wanted to thank you for the “Blogging for Books” tip. Have signed up, and look forward to receiving my first book to review. Sounded like fun. We’ll see how I do.

    appreciate the tip…hugmamma. 🙂

    • GREAT!!! It took a little longer than I expected to get my first book. I am almost finished with it and looking forward to ordering my next one. EnJOY blogging for books!

      • I’m in no hurry. I’ve got a lot of projects going. Not enough time in the day, for sure. Are you a night owl? What am I saying, you’ve got a job to get up for bright and early. I’m a night owl.

        Let me know when you do a review of the book. I’d love to read your review.

        great sharing with you…hugmamma. 🙂

  7. You have been busy with the antique search… Good hunting and I will check out this blogging for books idea. 🙂
    Eliz

  8. Pingback: what I know now… | jeanne's blog

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