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!