What do French antiques, African art, imported textiles and North Carolina have in common? At French Connections in Pitsburo, the answer is everything.
Owned by husband and wife team Wendy and Jacques Dufour, the shop is an accumulation of their world-travels. Jacques is French, born in South Africa, and Wendy Dufour is native to North Carolina. The duo met in Cape Town, South Africa, and lived in France, Senegal and now in Pitsburo.
French Connections opened in 2000, with French antiques from Normandy, African art and textiles from both France and Africa.
“It’s been a way for us to keep a link with France and Africa in a very eclectic way,” said Jacques Dufour. French Connections is located in (and on the lawn) of a large turn-of-the-century home. Jacques Dufour is often asked how they can mix such different styles; “My house has always been like that!” he said.
For 28 years Countryside Antiques, Inc., owned by Floyd Coleman and Kenneth Hoyle, has been selling pieces of history in Chapel Hill.
The shop is located in a historically restored 150-year-old home, with nine of the 18 rooms open to the public. Countryside Antiques specializes in American antique furniture dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, along with porcelain, silver, brass candlesticks and pottery.
Hoyle has been in the antiques business for 40 years and credits his commitment to quality as the reason for his success. “It’s been fantastic,” said Hoyle, who reports higher-end American pieces to be the current trend in furniture.
Ed Livingston, a picker for two Tennessee antique shops, knows just what his customer is looking for.
For country, corn grinders, quilts or farm implements go to Nostalgic Antiques and Collectibles in Wares Valley, said Livingston.
If you are looking for nostalgic items such as Betty Boop collectibles, whistles, horns, pinball or slot machines, Livingston recommends visiting Nostalgic Antiques and Collectibles in Pigeon Forge.
In 1969, Margie Bush established Bush Antiques in New Orleans. Ten years later, her daughter Allain Bush joined the business and moved the small shop to the middle of historic Magazine Row, a section known for art and antiques shops.
“It’s in my blood, [antiques] is just what I do,” Allain Bush said. In the past 28 years, Bush Antiques has gained a reputation for being the place to go in New Orleans for unusual and unique antiques.
“I specialize in things that I like or love,” Allain Bush said of the curious mix of antiques she sells. Many of the items at Bush Antiques are purchased from Europe, including her best-selling antique beds. For those in the market for antique beds, Bush Antiques is worth a try.
According to Bush, it is difficult to sell or find antique beds because most antique beds were made in twin, single or full size, and today’s consumer is looking for queen or king size.
“We’re always trying to extend beds and headboards,” said Bush. Aside from beds, top sellers for Bush Antiques include continental furniture, religious art, lighting and garden pieces.
The venerable Antiques and Uncle Junk has relocated to 21 E. Sixth St. on Mountain Home’s downtown square in what used to be Dryer’s Shoes Store.
The new location allows for more room to display Uncle Junk’s mixed collection of antiques, French shabby chic, vintage and primitive fines and furniture.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
Lil Easterlin, Tish Easterlin, and Hulet Kitterman live across the street from each other in Louisville, raised nine children together, and are best friends as well as sisters.
When their father Frank Easterlin, an enthusiastic supporter of Louisville, passed away, the three women chose to honor his death by opening an antique and art shop. The shop, Twisted Sisters is located in the historic Abbot-Stone building in downtown Louisville, population 2,712. The shop features local art, antiques, consignment items and handcrafted goods.
Decorating and embellishing is what Dalia Stokes, owner of Stokes’ Chic Antiques in Abilene, loves to do.
“As far back as I can remember I have loved to decorate. As a small child I would get up at the crack of dawn to go treasure hunting with my mother at local flea markets, garage and estate sales. Many years later I pursued my dream of owning a shop and filling it with treasures,” she said.
Stokes’ Chic Antiques, celebrating two and a half years in business this past June, has a French flair and specializes in vintage style furnishings and shabby chic items. Recently, small glass lamps and jewelry are big sellers.
Look for the shop “On the mesquite plains, under a big blue sky,” said Stokes of the Texas town.
Gene Collectibles in Vinita has “just about anything and everything,” said owner, Gene Cusick, who enjoys anything not “modern.”
Look for antique furniture, quilts, jewelry, postcards and quilts in the 20-year-old shop. Cusick reports that although you can never tell what’s selling day-to-day, there has been “Quite a run on jewelry the last couple of months.”
Vinita, population 6,017, once held claim to the world’s largest McDonald’s restaurant, in terms of area, occupying 29,135 square feet.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina devistated the city of Bay St. Louis, located about an hour east of New Orleans along the gulf coast.
Among the homes and businesses destroyed by the storm was a small bridal shop, Bon Temps Roulè, owned by Ed and Sylvia Young, both natives of New Orleans.
“Because of the storm we lost everything we had in the store,” said Ed Young. Instead of giving up, the Youngs decided to help the people of the Bay St. Louis and surrounding areas replace some of the precious heirlooms they lost in the storm.
“My dad owned a furniture store in New Orleans for 64 years and I grew up in it,” said Ed Young. For him, it was only natural to open up an antique shop for the community.
Their shop, Antique Maison, now consists of more than 40 dealers and a half of a block of antiques. As the community continues to recover from the hurricane, the Youngs are enjoying their new shop.
“We have a lot of traffic; people appreciate looking at and buying our antiques,” said Ed Young.