“There is something about people who love antiques and antiquing that creates friendships out of customers,” said Jan Peel, owner with husband Dick of Home Again Antiques in Aurora, Ore.
And making friends through antiques is precisely what the Peels try to do at their shop in the “antiques capital” of Oregon. Home Again Antiques, located in a 2,400-square foot, two-story 1910-built home, is one of 20 antique and specialty shops the heart of the state’s first National Historic District.
The shop has three dealers besides the Peels, and strives to be, in Jan Peel’s estimation, “a high quality and authentic antique shop.” She noted the shop carries a wide variety of merchandise, from primitives, country and Americana to advertising memorabilia, folk art, textiles, old toys and fine American furniture.
“One of our dealers handles postcards, photographs and other paper ephemera, as well as old toys,” Peel said, “while the other two carry oak furniture, glassware and pottery.”
As for the Peels’ inventory, it runs the gamut from old wooden trade signs, such as those advertising the services of lawyers, trunk-makers and country stores, to furniture of all kinds, but especially cupboards.
“I have a thing for collecting cupboards,” Peel noted, “so there usually are some for sale in the shop.”
The Peels got their start in the antique business about 13 years ago, but have been collectors for more than 20 years.
“We started out as collectors, but as often happens with people, we went into the business of selling and we’ve loved it ever since,” Peel said.
The couple first had two booth spaces in a single-owner shop in Clackamas, Ore., and when the owner retired they took over the business, which was in a historic mill, renamed it and brought in their own inventory. They were there for seven years before moving to Aurora and opening their current shop.
Peel classifies the merchandise in Home Again Antiques as eclectic, but added that the shop offers customers more furniture than most other shops in town.
“We hunt for it all over because we sell it so well,” she said. “The last four months we sold so much furniture that we began to get nervous that we wouldn’t be able to find quality pieces anymore. But we searched and, of course, we were able to find more.”
Peel said that most of the material that she and her husband are able to locate comes from local sellers. Some of their recent finds include a screened pie safe, a punched-tin pie safe, and a solid oak dry sink with a raised back and three doors. All are late 1800s pieces.
“There is very little in our shop that dates after the 1930s,” Peel observed. “We are very much a true antique shop.”
Most of the business at the shop comes from the retail trade, Peel noted, except for a large number of dealers who “do the Expo Antique Show and come through town looking to fill their booths for each show.”
While Home Again Antiques sells a variety of merchandise, Peel said she’s noticed a trend recently.
“For a long time, country items and primitives were very quiet,” she noted, “but in the past few months, people have been buying them again, especially looking for old cupboards and oak furniture.”
Home Again Antiques
21631 Main Street NE
Aurora, OR 97002