Monday, February 6, 2012

New Project: Granny's Place

Well, I did it. I rented a booth at a local antique mall.

I've wanted to do this for a long time, and even looked into it 4 or 5 years ago, but at that time, well, there just wasn't time to pursue the idea. But now that I am retired and have all this stuff I've bought to sell on eBay, I realize that I've bought way more than I'll ever get listed. I had heard on the radio that a new flea market was opening in a town about 50 miles away so we went to check it out.

That one, not so much. All downstairs space was rented, there seemed to be no heat in the building, and there was no elevator to the second floor. On top of that, the second floor has to be accessed through a separate entry that's not too visible to the first-floor flea market, so it would be pretty simple for anyone to walk out with anything. I do wish the new owner luck, though, and perhaps all the issues I noted will be resolved somehow. The location was good, and as we all know that's important. But carrying everything up a very long flight of stairs? Not for me. And I wondered about customers too; many who are into collecting are over 40 and those stairs were pretty intimidating.

We took the longer way home, winding along the Ohio River through small communities, a very relaxing drive. As we passed through Ravenswood, we noticed that the Riverbend Antique Mall was open and stopped to check it out. We've been in before, and I know the mall has suffered through some hard times. The aluminum plant, the biggest employer in this county, had shut down a major portion of the plant a few years ago, laying off 650 workers. That and the generally bad economy hit Ravenswood hard. Now it seems the community is making a comeback. There is word going round that the plant will be re-opening in some areas very soon, and a few other job opportunities have come to the area recently, most notably a large Army Reserve Center just south of town.

The antique mall has a new owner and she just happened to have a booth available. It's in a good location in the store, on the left side (which is the direction I always start out in such places) and fairly close to the front. It's only 8x10, which is big enough for me right now. The mall is attractively arranged and on a late Sunday afternoon still had customers. There are several other antique shops on the street, the main drag through town. And I liked the hours too--Tuesday-Saturday 10-6 and Sundays 12-5. Some places are closed on Sunday, or close at 5 on weekdays, effectively cutting out anyone who has to work 9-5.

Now I have some work to do, deciding what to put in the booth and how to arrange it. I'll be taking notes from my friend Joy at A Vintage Green, who runs several booths in Canada and has a great blog about it. I've got a lot to learn, and Larry thinks I'm nuts for taking on yet another project. Once it is set up, though, I think it will be a lot of fun. I'll post pictures as soon as it's done.

And of course, should you ever happen through Ravenswood, please stop by!

23 comments:

Michelle said...

Good luck with this! I have been wanting to do this in our small town, but just haven't gotten around to it!

Country Whispers said...

Good luck with your new adventure and I hope you do well.

Ronda said...

Wonderful!!! And, at the same time you were considering this smart move, we decided to start a small farm market. I'm so excited. This will cut into other time but you will manage!

Granny Kate said...

Great! You are preserving memories for a lot of folks -- in so many ways -- this is one more -- tangible memories.

Joy@aVintageGreen said...

Thanks for the mention Sue. I've sent you an email about my thoughts on beginning and setting up. May save you some of the time I spent figuring things out. Congratulations on a new step forward.
Joy

Rowan said...

I hope your antique booth is a real success - do you have to work there a few hours a week or just call in every so often to restock etc?

Marie said...

Oh, I wish you the best of luck!!!! What a wonderful plan, and it sounds like you have found the perfect place. I've thought about doing something like that with my daughter some time in the future. I miss work in a way, and loved running the gift shop of the train museum, and it was for such a short time! But, we'll see....:-) Right now she is busy launching a career as a pastry chef and I'm busy watching the grandson!

Steve Ferendo said...

I really envy your energy. I hope this works out well for you. I have kept a table at a local flea market for about 4 years now. It has been a good way to get rid of "stuff". I have to take this opportunity to say that you have a lovely singing voice. I am really enjoying the CDs that you sent (thanks for the bonus CD).

Steve

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, friends! I am so excited about this. Joy, your email is a godsend, so full of good information in an understandable format.

Ronda, I'm planning a trip your way soon so email me and tell me what days are good for you this month. Won't we have fun?

Granny Sue said...

Steve, I'm so glad you are enjoying the CDs--and thank you for the compliment on my singing voice :) I love those old ballads.

Michelle, it took me years to get around to doing this. Some things just have to wait, I guess, until they get on our priority list. I'd like to eventually have 3 or 4 booths in different places but we'll see how I do with one first!

Granny Sue said...

Rowan, I just need to stop in from time to time to add, rearrange, dust, etc. I plan to do that twice a week. Other than that, I don't have to be there, which is nice because my time can be eaten up in the summer with storytelling, gardens and canning.

If you enjoyed a gift shop, Marie, you'd probably love having your own little place to sell. I hope it happens for you sometime soon. But it sounds like you have plenty to keep you occupied as it is :)

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Congratulations on your new business. You might already realize that you are joining a club. A club of antiques dealers that will probably become your friends for life. -- barbara

Robbyn said...

Oh, I'm so excited for you!!!

Granny Sue said...

I did not know that, Barbara, but it sounds like a great group to be part of :)

Thank you, Robbyn!

Angela said...

Congratulations Granny Sue! You were right to not go into the first one because if there are steps I often will avoid them if there isn't much that I like on the bottom floor. I agree about the ones that close at 5 and closed on Sundays. They are cutting into their profits by not being open when the working crowd is off! I was just talking about that to my husband Saturday. We bought a beautiful old vanity for my daughter at an antique store in Nitro. I'll post pictures later. It was in excellent condition and the price was reasonable.

Granny Sue said...

Can't wait to see the pictures, Angela--I've not been into the antique places in Nitro but I hear they're pretty nice.

Angel said...

Wonderful! Riverbend is hubby and my favorite of the three right there. Light, airy and lots of choice. And not laden with compeating smells and such which is good for him because of asthma and allergys. I'll have to look over your booth when it's set up.

John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Didn't I hear something about retirement a little while back? i think you're right to look for somewhere with Sunday opening; Cambridge market is full of craft and antique stalls on Sunday afternoon.

Granny Sue said...

Now that's neat that you go there, Angel. I like it best too of the three in town. Let me know sometime if you're heading that way. I'd love to meet up with you.

John, I guess I really just retired from a job I no longer enjoyed, and now I'm re-inventing myself and doing the things I love: writing, storytelling, gardening, and junking. Somehow I seem to turn what I like to do into work! But it's work I truly like to do so it doesn't feel like a job. At one time I loved my library job; it inspired me creatively and honestly I was good at it. But the position changes brought duties that didn't fit me. I know that in this economy a person shouldn't be picky and that is probably why they were surprised when I did actually leave. But it was one of the best decisions I've ever made.

Mary said...

An exciting new addition! It sounds lovely! (and you certainly have plenty of interests!) I hope it works out very well for you ;-)

Granny Sue said...

Thank you, Mary. I do have lots of interests, maybe too many, but like my mother when people told her 13 children was too many, I say, "which ones should I get rid of?!" Love it all!

Angel said...

Well we go down there often so it's not like it's out of the way. In fact we're in Ravenswood more often then we're in Parkersburg. I'd like to meet up with you as well so whenever's good for you when your up this way.

tipper said...

Congrats on your new venture!! Now if I only lived close enough to come see it : )

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