AT Inbox: Thieves in Branson; Holly Hobbie controversy

Check your insurance: Thieves ruin Branson antiquing

We want to make your readers aware of what happened to us, so hopefully they won’t have the same bad experiences.

Recently, a weekend trip to Branson, Mo., to go antique shopping and to attend an auction ended on a “sour note.” When we were prepared to check out of our motel, we found our locked trunk had been entered during the night. When the Branson Police officer arrived and started taking pictures, he made a comment about our break-in falling under the same “M-O.” He had already responded to three break-ins that morning and had two more calls to go to after ours.

He had responded to approximately 50 auto break-ins in the previous three weeks. All were reported to having been locked but had been entered with no signs of forced entry. The officer asked if we would be willing to return to Branson to prosecute. He didn’t want us to waste his time or our time by filing  a police report, unless we would prosecute. We filled out a partial report and brought home extra sheets to complete when we returned home. We finished gathering the serial numbers of the stolen items and faxed the report to the Branson Police Dept. the next day.

Now, the second part of this bad experience. We thought we had done everything right. We have always carried auto and home owners insurance. We had even met with an agent approx. four years ago and purchased an extra theft protection policy. At that time, we were told our belongings were covered even away from home.

Now, our insurance claim has been denied. Under our home owners’ policy “(c) This peril does not apply from the residence permises to theft of: 2. property unattended in or on a motor vehicle unless there are visible marks of forcible entry into the locked vehicle.”

Does your insurance company cover you for theft? If you are not sure, we advise you to find out before this happens to you.

Kevin & Shirley Kukuk
Russellville, Ark.  ?

A packed shop is a healthy shop

I think they encourage the hunt. If I walk into a mall where the booths are scant and barely contain anything but candles and fake floral arrangements then I get out.

I believe a packed mall is a healthy mall and full of variety and hopefully a bargain and at the very least something I would be interested in. I have stocked packed booths in the past and I am currently resizing my home and opened up a booth to sell the items that are no longer fit the collecting direction I wish to travel.

As an accredited appraiser, I think they are a great learning ground for people with a keen eye and patience.

Valerie Hale, ISA AM

How can a messy shop lead to more sales?

In some instances they can encourage my hunt, but only if I can see something off the bat that interests me. Otherwise I walk on by.

A crowded booth or shop can make it seem like the same old pile and discourage repeat visits. If stuff is organized and piled, that’s another possibility. A specific shop in Akron, Ohio, comes to mind. It’s a far safer strategy to neatly display things. You’re in business to sell things quickly, not hide them and wait until a rummager can find them.

Eric Miller
Urban Antiques ?

Packed booths make it hard for shoppers to, well, shop

It is not so much the antique stores but the booths themselves. I have collected and sold antiques for more than 10 years and have had several antique booths in my time.

I have seen some booths so packed with items, it looks like the seller took boxes of items and did a dump and run. Some are so packed, you cannot even get into the booth.

Yes, this keeps me from going into that store/booth. Too much clutter creates too much chaos.

Let’s face it; we shop to have fun, not to be pushed away by overcrowding/cluttered booth/store.

 If there are booths that allow you to enter and seems organized, then yes, I will go through and hunt for that item that is missing from my collection.

You will notice many times that items are so packed, there are items behind and in the back that probably have never seen the day of light or a potential buyer since the booth opened.

I always say, if you have a small booth, keep it simple and an assortment of items for all to view. If a person has only glass in their store or booth, that one customer may not collect glass, and you just lost a customer to other items you may have.
Tony Cejmer
Sterling Heights, Mich. ?

Collector finds friends at Antique Trader

Dear friends at Antique Trader,

I recently subscribed to your publication. I wish I had known about you before. I am in my 60s and all my life I have run from people who have called me “piggy” and “hoarder.” I’ve even developed a system of organizing and labeling my finds, and I am an overachiever in cleanliness because I thought all these years there was something wrong with me.

I’ve been called obsessive compulsive due to my cleanliness thing. Now due to the “Antiques Roadshow,” “American Pickers” and your publication “Antique Trader,” I know I’m OK! There is nothing wrong with me.

My interests are antique clothing and historical cooking and healing arts. I have other interests, but these are the only antique ones.

Thank you and God bless you.

 We folks who also collecting quilting fabric have a saying: “She who dies with the most fabric wins.”

Thanking you sincerely,

Sandra McCormick
Port Angeles, Wash. ?

Holly Hobbie fans offer another perspective

Holly Hobbie characters now owned by American Greetings

Was interested in the Holly Hobbie article (June 23 issue, pages 12-13, 46-47). Readers/dealers would be interested to know that the Holly Hobbie images from the 2005 relaunch and many of the earlier ones were not by Holly Hobbie.

American Greetings bought all the rights, name and everything from Holly outright, circa the late 1960s, for lump-sum payment. Holly is no longer allowed to draw them or similar ones. The payment was tiny compared with the TWO BILLION DOLLARS they made off the character. In 1997 Holly began designing a new series of children’s books featuring charming pigs, Toot & Puddle. She has released a new title every year since then in this series. Toot & Puddle stuffed toy figures are now available (none of the Toot merchandise is connected with American Greetings).

It may be that Holly cannot even draw any children figures because they would revert to American Greetings. Seems like a sad situation to me. The “new” HH is obviously not her character and much inferior to her work, in my opinion.

Polly Hackett-Morey, via e-mail ?

American Greetings design team also worked on Hobbie designs

I’d like to comment on “The Face of Holly Hobbie.”

I worked at American Greetings Corporation from 1970 to 2000 and was very aware of the freelancer Holly Hobbie.

That was not her real name. It was Denise Ulincus … (Please excuse my spelling of her last name. It’s been awhile.) The whole collectible market for Holly was created by in-house employees based on a single piece of art known as  “Blue Girl.” Denise certainly provided American Greetings with lovely little watercolors, but the bulk of the work was done by planners, writers and a whole department of people who reworked and fixed her designs. Guess I better include the marketeers that pushed the merchandise.

The most important piece of this article is giving “Holly Hobbie” credit for the character, “Himself the Elf” This character was created by the extremely talented in-house artist, Karl Odenweller, who worked on his creation on and off for 30 years. I hope for Karl’s sake you’ll send out a correction. It’ll mean a lot to him.

Karen M. Reilly, via e-mail ?


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