It’s All About Me
I can’t remember a time when items of antique and vintage origin weren’t an integral part of my existence. I was raised by two wonderfully creative parents who also happened to be lifelong antiques collectors, dealers and appraisers. I remember my young life as a succession of antiques shows, auctions and thrift shops, yard sales…and yes, even the occasional back alley dumpster.
While most other children were raised with gentle admonishments like, “Say Thank You” or “Please play nicely,” the phrase I most remember hearing was, “Don’t Touch Anything”. Now that I’ve reached an age when childbirth is almost certainly out of the question and I’ve been advised that mood swings, night sweats and temporary insanity figure heavily in my near future, those words will still stop me dead in my tracks. In those frantic minutes before an auction when there is too much to check out before the bidding begins, my husband takes great delight in uttering “Don’t touch anything” as I’m reaching for a treasure he knows I just can’t live without. The poor dear doesn’t even realize how close he is to being smothered in his sleep.
How I became a jewelry collector
On weekends I would accompany my aforementioned creative parents to antique shows where we would hope to part with some of their treasures in order to acquire “new” old treasures. When I became old enough, I had the great honor of “watching the booth” while my parents went on scouting trips around the show. Life in a booth at an antique show for a teenager is something akin to watching paint dry… no, check that… watching paint fade…and peel. I guess I was a slow learner but it took me until I was 17 to figure out that if I collected something too, I could wander the show looking for treasures to add to MY collection and make my parents proud at the same time. I also figured out that jewelry was easier to carry than furniture and was not in direct competition with my parental units… thus a jewelry collector was born.
Selling “Carats” at the Farmer’s Market
Several years ago, a friend of mine who raises the most wonderful locally grown herbs in several counties, invited me to share a table with her at the farmer’s market in New Albany, Indiana about 20 miles from our current shop. I didn’t have my brick and mortar shop then, eBay seemed to raise their “listing fees” every time we turned around and my Etsy shop was just getting off the ground, so I agreed to join her.
I didn’t think that selling antique and vintage jewelry at a farmer’s market was going to be a big hit but she made it sound like so much fun that I couldn’t resist. Well it WAS fun and I met some of the greatest people. The following year, I decided to set up my own space because both my friend and I had expanded our product lines so much. By then I had a started to earn a “following” and people actually came looking for me… to buy jewelry at the farmer’s market. How strange and wonderful that was! Plus, all of the other sellers were such wonderful people that made me feel right at home! Nothing has changed since…I still pack my cases up every Saturday morning during the season and go set up at the crack of “OMIGOSH it’s waaaay too EARLY!” at the New Albany Farmer’s Market selling my carats and karats right next to the carrots.
New Albany is also home to the second largest festival in Indiana (just behind the Indianapolis 500 Festival). The New Albany Harvest Homecoming is held each October and because I’m in the Farmer’s Market, we get booth space “under roof”. This was the 44th year of the event and the closing of the main bridge didn’t seem to decrease the crowds or their enthusiasm for turkey legs, Greek gyros, elephant ears, and other fair fare, oh yeah… and jewelry! We were so glad we shut the shop down for four days to run our booth at the Festival! It was our best year ever.
Brick and Mortar is Scary!
When my husband, Dennis, retired, he had the brilliant idea that he needed a small office “in town” where he could have better, faster internet access so he could build his web sites. (He built this one… like it? Check out www.WebSelling4U.com.) He found a small office in a rather run down building but the price was right so he decided to go for it. Well, as often happens, when push comes to shove, the deal changed at the last minute so he didn’t sign.
He decided to take a new tack and started wandering around our town square looking to see if there was space above one of the shops. As he was trying to find a place to park he noticed that the best location in town for a retail shop was FOR RENT! He called and talked to the landlord and everything that should have been a problem, wasn’t. He called tell me that he had found this space and it was a no-brainer and he had already worked everything out and I just couldn’t say no. To make a long story short, after fighting down 24 hours of panic attack and the temptation to smother him in his sleep, we rented the shop.
God has blessed us so much. The shop has done extremely well in what everyone describes as a “down economy”. Every obstacle has been pushed aside. Matthew 17:20 tells us that if we have faith the size of a mustard seed, we can move mountains. He has moved the mountains for us. We begin and end every day with a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonderful miracles he has worked in our lives.
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