Antique shop's unique business model keeps traffic high

Time and Again Vintage, an antiques shop in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, carries old wares, but looks new when it opens each month.
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By Mary Glindinning

Different layout, inventory each month keeps customers coming back

DODGEVILLE, Wis. – The store carries old wares, but looks new when it opens each month.

Terry Olson, owner of Time and Again Vintage in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, rocks her sister-in-law’s grandchild amid the displays while they both work at the store. Photo by Mary Glindinning

Terry Olson, owner of Time and Again Vintage, a Dodgeville, Wisconsin, antique shop rocks her sister-in-law’s grandchild amid the displays while they both work at the store. Photo by Mary Glindinning

Time and Again Vintage in Dodgeville is open only five days a month, but the other days aren’t idle.

Displays start from scratch – down to the bare walls – so customers see a fresh look when they walk in.

Terry Olson opened Time and Again Vintage six years ago as an “occasional sale” store, patterned after stores she had visited in Minnesota.

“Every month, we redo the entire store,” said Jenny Gorgen, a vendor who helps in the store when it is open.

The store has no employees. Family, friends and vendors staff it. Being open only five days saves on heat and light bills, too.

But work on the store goes on all month.

A new look each month

Eighty vendors supply the store. “We have a huge waiting list. Our vendors don’t leave once they get in,” Olson said. “Vendors will drop stuff off, and there’s no space to even move in here.”

Then the work starts. Vendors don’t have a booth where they put all their goods. Olson and her sister-in-law Julie Crubaugh design the displays.

“We’ll say ‘Let’s do a black section,’ and search through the store for what we want,” Olson said. “I can put huge pieces in place, and Julie’s really good at smalls.”

They are so in sync that sometimes they’ll reach for the same item to put in the same spot.

“She insists on taking everything off the wall and putting it in a different spot,” Crubaugh said. “With so many vendors bringing in so many different things, it’s amazing, but it all blends together.”

The regrouping gives attention to pieces that might have been overlooked before. Items must be removed from the store if they haven’t sold in three months. There is a theme for every month, usually holiday-related.


Antique shop inventory

The store stocks antiques, home furnishings, vintage and salvage finds. Olson searches for “the unusual, and pretty wood antiques.” She doesn’t accept glassware because it doesn’t sell. Furniture goes especially fast, with items tagged “I’m going home with” and the buyer’s name and time they’ll pick it up. Shoppers come from throughout the region and are lined up on opening day. Vendors set their own prices. The short sale span encourages vendors to price items to move, Olson said. “We’ll know something is worth $100, but if we got it for a good price, we’ll sell it at a good price,” Olson said. The word "reasonable" keeps coming up to describe the prices. “They have such a variety of antiques and new stuff, and it’s in my price range,” said Linda Stoikes, of Mineral Point. “I live close. I always come in when they are open.” Jennifer Marsden, of Edgerton, came to shop with her mother, Paula Marsden, of Fort Atkinson. “I come in every year at the Christmas season,” said Jennifer Marsden, who found a bulldog statuette for her son.

Antique shop location, hours

The store is open the third Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of each month, with a sneak peek preview Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. most months. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. It is open every day except Monday from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and closed in January. Time and Again Vintage is located at 146 North Iowa Street in the heart of Dodgeville’s downtown. Signage throughout the city alerts people when the store is open. The location is great, Olson said. Her mother had a gift shop in the same space and started her interest in collecting. “She would drag us to antique shops when we were little, and we hated it,” Olson said. Much of the word of the store is spread by word of mouth, but “Facebook is a lifesaver,” Olson said. “I put up a post and 20,000 people see it.”

Finding great stuff

They stock the store with their own finds and vendor collections. “We have fun at auctions. We actually buy estates. A lot of times people call when they have something to sell,” Olson said. “I started redoing furniture for fun,” Gorgen said. “When they opened the store, I asked if she would take my furniture. She said ‘Why don’t you become a vendor?’ This is my job once a month. I love all the people that come in. There’s no boss to report to. It’s like a second home.” Crubaugh, a retired teacher, used to “wish I could go when they’d tell me they were going on a pick. I’d say wait a couple years.” Now she can go. “This is love. We love this,” Crubaugh said. 

Mary Glindinning is a freelance writer with 40 years of experience at daily and weekly newspapers in Iowa and Wisconsin.



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