2nd Hand Flip – By G. Allen Clark is On Sale now for readers of this site, for the introductory price of $4.95
Have you ever wanted to be in business for yourself, or turn your love of flea market and thrift store shopping into a profitable business? If you have ever had this idea, now is the time. Why get into the business of reselling? According to National Association of Retail Trades, (NARTS) (https://www. narts. org,) a consumer research firm, an average of 15 percent of Americans shop at resale stores in a given year.
The industry has experienced an average growth of seven percent a year for the past two years, and, according to IBISWorld, reselling is expected to increase at an annualized rate of nearly three percent until the year 2021. The number is higher if you add in Flea Markets or sales through online thrift stores.
For consignment/resale shops, it is higher, hitting in the area of 12 – 15%. To keep these figures in perspective, consider that during the same time frame; 11 percent of shoppers shopped at outlet malls, less than 20 percent in apparel stores, and just over 21 percent at major department stores.
For those who are Rich, Poor, or Middle class, the art of the deal is inherent in all of us. The American Dream is built on the adage, Buy Low and Flip It. While many major chain operated businesses close their doors every day, vintage stores, including the small Mom and Pop booths in Resale malls, remain healthy and continue to be one of the fastest growing segments of the retail market.
As we may have mentioned in earlier post, my husband refurbishes antiques. We have found that the word refurbish often confuses people. Some assume it as a complete rebuild or refinishing of a precious antique destroying the original patina, while others assume refurbish means a light cleaning or doing nothing at all. In truth, it depends on the careful inspection of the antique. The following might help to explain the designations you will find on our price tags.
The first is a complete refurbish with some new materials which ends with a rebuilt antique, but can seriously diminish the value. You will rarely find us doing a complete refurbish. The exception was the desk at the left. It had fallen off the back of a truck doing 45 MPH. My husband took up the challenge and had to completely rebuild it, adding a new back and rebuilding the interior cubicles using new wood. He found replacement hinges, antiqued them and then refinished the new wood to match the old finish. By the way, you can see these examples in space B26
Second is a ‘soft’ restoration, where no new hardware is used, and only what is from the original construction goes back into its rebuild. We do this level of refurbishing on many of our steamer trunks, such as the example shown to the left, especially when we have a piece that has all of its hardware. If we have to replace hardware, we search our resources for original hardware. If we can’t find original, we either repair the old piece or replace the piece with a duplicate new part. This kind of project is best used on pieces of value, where authenticity is important.
The third is a moderate restoration, where as much of the original hardware is re-used. Whenever possible, parts from the same period (or if we can, the original manufacturer) are installed. Failing that, he will replace with new hardware. He will spend hours on the internet researching to make sure he keeps the original look. This is often the hardest but most rewarding restoration and our preference when restoring cabinets, tables, desks and or other valued antiques. The 7 foot tall Pine Chimney Cabinet shown here is an example of this level of restoration.
The other day I was in the store putting stuff away and generally cleaning up, when young man came by and started looking at our #vintage #Singer sewing machines. He said he was looking for another one for his girlfriend to use. Apparently he and his girlfriend are #crafts people and the #Singer66 and its smaller version the model 99 are heavy-duty machines, perfect for #crafting. He ended up buying one of mine. Thank you Jake. Continue reading Singer Craft Work→
It’s been awhile since I have been able to write. Longer then I wanted, that’s for sure. Added responsibilities in my teaching career, plus a personal loss in my family took me away for quite some time. I’m back however and I will try to keep up once again.
As you may know, my husband does furniture restoration and we have some beautiful pieces for sale in Space B26
at American Classics Marketplace next to my linen shop (B30). Some he refinished or repaired, but most are as he found them in his daily travels. What you may not know is that he’s a big kid at heart. That will become apparent when you see the collection of #G.I Joe Action Figures that he just put into his case in B26. He came across them at an estate sale and couldn’t pass them up.
I have to laugh at a grown man playing with #action figures, (don’t call them dolls) but that is exactly what I caught him doing one afternoon when I walked into the living room. He says he was just trying to see how many different positions they would actually bend too and I say he was playing. The decisive factor came when he sat two of the figures into the 1/6th size Jeep he is selling with them. Yep, he was playing.
He put them on sale in his side of the business. I tell you this because if any of you would like to start your kids or grand kids on collecting, the G.I. Joe Action figures are a good place to start. They just keep going up in value. The 12-inch full size ones he has in the showcase feature two of them from the original 1964 series, one still in the box. He also has some of the original Cobra 1984 small (3 1/2 inch) version. There is an interesting history of these toys found on Wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G.I._Joe
Now to my linens. I was told that we were the only Linen and Lace store south of Wyoming devoted to vintage linens. A person who came all the way down from Denver to purchase one of our Quaker Lace tablecloths told me this. I’m not sure about all of Colorado, but in checking the I25 corridor south from Wyoming to Pueblo, it appears she may be right. That also brings up my mentioning of some new stock I just put in. The same estate sale that my husband found the G.I. Joe’s in, yielded some beautiful hand done lace tablecloths and Italian linens. I have to admit, I had a hard time parting with these.
I’ll end here for now. I promise to be more vigilant in my writing, but until next time, enjoy the Super Bowl weekend coming up. Once again, if on the weekend you stop by the store and see a woman with her nose buried in linens, it’s probably me. Stop in and say hello.
It makes sense that as owners of a vintage linen and lace shop, we are in love with fine linens. Tight woven linen, some white, some cream, some with hand printed flowers and vines, with vivid red, yellows and green colors in distinctive patterns. Colors just as alive and vibrant today as when they were first produced. You can visualize the artist passing the linen through each color separation, but not always registering the cloth exactly, as would happen if it were in today’s high-speed linen press. That’s what makes vintage so special; the imperfections given a warm hand, versus the cold steel of today’s production methods. Then you have the beautiful Damask linens, each with their subtle but distinctive pattern, that when laid out on a table, along with the matching napkins and fine silver, make dinner with friends a special event.
Oh, did I fail to mention we just picked up a trunk full of vintage linen this weekend? You probably would have guessed it anyway. I have spent my day, literally lying within the folds of history. I have smelled the clean air, the aroma of the slow cooked pot roast. In my mind, I have heard the clatter of dishes and dinnerware over the chatter of family all sitting down to Sunday dinner.
I started thinking, what makes the experience of touching fine linen so special? For that matter, what makes the experience of collecting anything so special? Is it the love of handcrafted quality or the secret hoarders in me coming out.
I don’t know the exact answer; it’s different for everyone, but I have my suspicions. The 30’s, 40’s, 50’s are my favorite years and it’s hard to pick any one thing that makes these generations stand out, until you voice all adjectives and realize that you have used “quality” more than once.
The fact that the linens that we hold in our hand are so crisp and wonderfully colored after all these years and hundreds of washings later, are a big part of it. Modern day linens miss this level of quality. Maybe it’s the fact that these were produced when pride and quality of workmanship was in everything.
Perhaps that’s what all of us look for when we purchase anything vintage. We are purchasing a chance to get back an era when times were simpler and families were closer and pride in workmanship was paramount. When you pick up a napkin from the 30’s you get the same feeling your grandmother felt and the same feeling your children will feel when they are the recipients of your collection.
Secretly I want to keep every linen napkin I touch; every lace doily I wash, or every tablecloth I fold. I want my daughter to have this quality long after my passing. Then my husband says the magic words that bring me back to why we opened this store. He’ll say, “Do you know that when a customer buys these linens, that their children will probably end up using them in their future?” I pause and think about that and then it strikes me, that this is the guarantee that “quality” gives you. That’s what I live for. By retrieving, preserving and passing on this bit of cloth, I pass history forward. That makes me smile.
We consolidated our stores into two locations B30 & B26. within the American Classics Marketplace @ 1815 N. Academy CS/CO. Stop in a pick a piece of this history. Take a look at what American workers did. Some of them (many of them) were your grandmothers and grandfathers, maybe – if you’re older, even your mother and fathers. They did good back then.
The eclectic look in home decorating is trending. Repurposing, reusing, refurbishing is
in vogue. Thank Goodness. I never thought my house would ever get back in style. Actually one of the reasons why are in the antique and vintage linen and lace business is because we love quality. Hold a piece of 1890 – 1930 lace up to a piece of lace from the “mart” stores, you’ll see what I mean by this. Remember the 70’s? Avocado walls, polyester and shag carpeting? I can do without the long shag, but the denser and shorter shag does make a great retro look for select rooms. How about the 80’s with the popcorn ceiling and the color “salmon?” What, you don’t remember salmon colored walls? How about avocado? We don’t use sideboards that much anymore and we don’t store blankets or linens in chest of drawers that much, because our homes and condos are getting smaller. We don’t have the room for too much furniture, but we still want the quality and style associated with that era. So, what can we do? One popular idea is to repurpose / retrofit a Victorian Chest of Drawers or Side Board into a remodeled bathroom sink and cabinet. My next decorating change will be to scrape the popcorn from my ceiling. However, thinking with my retro state of mind, if I don’t look up, it can wait for another year. Who knows, it might come back in style.
Let’s talk certainties. Let’s talk about self-sufficiency and dependency. Let’s talk about
small business and Colorado Springs. Specifically, let’s talk about the certainty of supporting the individual antique dealers who run small shops in all the local antique malls here in town.
When the average antique shopper walks into one of the Antique Malls here in town, they tend to think of that mall as being “the antique store.” In fact, that mall is a retail site that houses many antique stores or small businesses, each responsible for their own inventory, their own displays and their own advertising. Your support of the mall equates to you supporting hundreds of small business owners. This is a good, because that owner is the same small business owner who buys their groceries from where you work, pays for gas from your service station, which powers the cars and trucks that your son or uncle may have worked on. The same owner who collectively employs the staff that works behind the counter when you check out, who helps you load your antique purchase into your car, who later that night, will take their spouse and family out to eat in the local restaurant you own or work in.
The antique mall you walk in to, be it The Antique Gallery, The Treasure Shoppe, AmericanClassics, the American Indoor Flea Market, the Garage Sale or Willowstone, house over 800+ independent businesses combined. That is a lot of small businesses, but that’s not counting the hundreds of other individual dealer’s countywide that make up this unique group of retailers. 800+ businesses that supply jobs to the local community. All they ask is that you support them by purchasing your favorite antique or collectible from them, instead of only ordering from the Internet.
From the income derived from your purchases, they will pay their taxes that will keep the roads clear and the schools open, they will educate their children in the schools where your son, daughter or granddaughter teaches, and all without extra shipping costs. These owners buy the homes your family and friends worked hard to build and in doing so, they keep their dollars local. They are not some outside multi-million dollar conglomerate with virtual offices, where income is a matter of international trade. They are not the antiques that when you buy from their internet site, some person in India, Germany, Britain or China gets a little richer. They believe in sharing the wealth and they believe it starts at home first. Support them and they will support you.
As my wife and I are proud members of this independent small business community of antique dealers, we thank you all for your continued support and your patronage. The next time you come in to one of our Mom & Me Vintage Linens & Lace stores; as our way of saying Thank You, pick up one of our permanent discount cards either at the Treasure Shoppe (space B4), American Classics (space B30 & B26) or American Indoor Flea Market (“Found Treasures” in space 301). If you see us there, say hello. Let us know how we’re doing. We’d love to meet you.
We purchase our vintage linens and lace from estate sales or from people who are downsizing. People call us and we meet them – usually at their homes. The conversations flow as we gather history on the items and occasionally the conversation turns to vintage or antique items other than linens. Naturally, as people who love antiques and collectibles, we run across great deals that we can’t pass up. (An allergic condition called collectoritis) For example, my husband restores vintage furniture, so he is constantly on the lookout for items that fit our late 1800’s, early 1900’s Sewing parlor and Victorian format at the American Classics Antique Mall, space B26 & B30. (Right under the Dick Clark Lane sign) Take a look at that beautiful little Singer sewing machine and cabinet we have in space B26.
Occasionally however, he will run into furniture that is more towards that of the early 50’s to late 70’s, like our 1957 Singer Sewing Machine Desk, that once held a Singer Slant-O-Matic sewing machine. It is Singer’s Hampton Court Mahogany series. He wants to repurpose into a computer and writing desk. It is so pretty with its deep red mahogany finish, we couldn’t let it sit in that old garage any longer. We are going to put that into our Treasure Shoppe location. Our industrial sewing cabinet with the Singer Mod 66 Red Eye machine is one my husband refers to as the Steam Punk model. You’ll also see that in The Treasure Shoppe.
Of course, we also run into great buys or things we just can’t pass up, but don’t fit into any of our sewing themes, but are simply great to have or have a lot of life left in them. If the price is right, and we think they have a market, our collectoritis sets in and we buy them. For those items, we opened a small store in the American Indoor Flea Market, space 301. Items like our in perfect condition Commercial Hobart Meat Slicer that the hubby was going to make his own beef jerky from, or the humidifier that he purchased because it got too dry in the house during the winter. He never jerked any beef (I just cracked myself up) and it’s still dry in the house. Hurry up and buy the meat slicer before he knows it’s gone. I priced it at half of what they go for on eBay.
Rummaging through our lace box, the young woman asked me if we ever dyed our lace. I smiled thinking back to the hours of hand washing, categorizing and pricing each piece. I told her no, that due to the demands on my time, that was one area of owning a vintage linen store, I had yet to venture in to. I asked her what she was looking for. She didn’t know, just looking but she mentioned that she was in town for her Aunts second wedding and was looking for a special gift, “something old,” she said. Lace and Ribbons for sashes are used for weddings or first communions. They make great gifts and because they are from gentler eras long past, they represent something very special. Pale blue or light rose are perfect colors. Think about a spring winter morning sky.
By the way, as long as we are talking quality vintage and pricing, (we were, weren’t we?) monogram bed linens are often very heavy. They were favored by the wealthy who could afford to have them monogrammed. The thread count for many of the vintage linens is over 1000 and some we have estimated approach the 2000 mark.
Remember, if you like bargains, (and who doesn’t) when shopping either one of our stores; “The Treasure Shoppe” or “AmericanClassics Antique Mall”, be sure to pick up your discount card. Keep the card with you, give one to your friends and every time you or your friend purchase our linens, just present the card at the checkout counter.
And once again, if you see a woman with her nose buried in the linens, it’s probably me. Stop in and say hi. Tell me what you’re looking for. I probably have it.
And now I want to step away from the store for a moment. These last couple of weeks in Colorado have been devastating. The flooding has uprooted and separated family’s, destroyed or severely damaged homes and cost lives. As I write this, the news is reporting on another tragic loss of two young people caught in rushing waters. I’m trying hard not to cry. We may be strong here in Colorado and we can rebuild property, but we cannot bring back loved ones. My heart goes out to all who are affected by the floods. Please head the warnings and do whatever you can to keep you and your families safe.
This post is directed to the person or persons who painted the 1927 Singer sewing machine case baby blue – thank you. You have given my husband many hours of pleasure and kept him out of my hair. He has toiled away in his workshop, lovingly removing the hideous color from what he tells me, is beautiful oak. Thank goodness, they didn’t paint the machine itself.
By the way, for all you shabby chic aficionados who are reading this, this was not shabby chic. I’ll be kind and simply say this was at best – a very poor, sloppy paint job. (I said I would be kind) While we love good shabby chic, this was not it. As the appraiser said, because the machine works are in excellent condition and the cabinet was the more expensive seven drawer model at a time when most of the ones sold were the less expensive five drawer cabinetry, the only solution for preserving it, was to restore it to its natural oak finish. Once my husband carefully removed the paint, he refinished the beautiful wood with three coats of hand rubbed Tung oil. That gave it life again and because everything was by hand, he even managed to save some of the old patina that had been painted over.
Once again, I can see where the hand of a young mother rubbed the finish as she guided the fabric through the foot. One of Singers earliest conversions to power, it still has its treadle, but I can see where her foot rested on the power switch and where the soles of her shoes wore the black paint off the side. I can see the dents and scratched made from buttons, dropped scissors and probably a child’s tin toy. If I close my eyes just right, I can even see the gleam in the little girls smile as mother holds up the new Sunday dress she just finished.
The next time you are in Mom & Me’s Vintage Linens & Lace in the American Classics Antique Mall, stop in space B30 and marvel at the simple ingenuity of these beautiful sewing systems. Look at the quality of the cabinetry work. The careful attention to the joinery and style of the design. You know that old world post-war craftsmen created them. Rest your hands on this beautiful machine, close your eyes and see if you can relive its history. Yes, it’s for sale at below appraised value because my husband hopes that its next owner will be able to repurpose the machine, but not want to paint it ever again.