It is so refreshing to read a story like the one Marvin Johnson has for us this week. He spoke to the Steve and Donna Strelitz who have opened a new antique mall – Collectors Corner – in downtown Wilmette, Ill. [Read the article — Husband and wife buck the trend and open Collectors Corner antiques mall — here.]
Johnson’s story shows the Strelitzes are not risk takers. Having managed a mall for a decade prior, the two know the business inside and out. In fact, dealers trust them so much with their merchandise that the couple already has a waiting list for spaces two months before their grand opening.
The two are following their passion and their instincts, which tells them now is the time to invest in a quality building in a great location. Dealers are seeking good shows and malls and are willing to hunt for better merchandise to stock them. One Collectors Corner dealer, Richard Porte, is well known on the national show circuit. He is also a show promoter himself. So when he is willing to back an endeavor, other dealers and shoppers should take notice.
His reason for setting up at Collectors Corner? Location, location, location.
Interestingly, the Strelitzes also are not ignoring a growing acceptance of decorator items appearing in traditional antiques shops. Purists will say this waters down a shop and puts the items of age in a bad light. I say nonsense.
In the correct setting, tasteful contemporary items mixed with mint condition antiques and collectibles helps those older items sell at higher dollar amounts. I’ve seen it happen in shops nationwide. Know what else I see in those same shops? Young couples looking for something unique for their homes.
The Strelitzes deserve a pat on the back for supporting the market during this time. Let’s hope customers support them in return.
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