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Over crowded.  The house is stuffed with objects for the store.  Where am I gonna open up shop?  Several things popped into my head.  I can open a stand-alone shop and run it myself.  Not quite ready for that!  I can open an antique mall and have other dealers join me.  That gives me a revenue stream as dealer and mall operator.  Not quite ready for that yet.  EBay and Craigslist?  Maybe for a few things, but it’s a lot of work.  And it doesn’t get me out into public, meeting people who love antiques.  Not in person anyway.

Well, duh, the choice is clear.  Rent a booth space in an existing antique mall.  Around here there are quite a few of them.  And it seems like these are growing, and more are opening all the time.  There are even a couple of towns that are well known for having several antique malls.  Some of which are huge!  As a youngster I loved going to a place called Renninger’s in Pennsylvania.  Huge!  You could spend a weekend there and not see it all.  Same is true of these towns around here.

Each town, and each mall has it’s own character.  You get a certain feeling from the town, and from the vendors in the mall.  Look at what they sell there.  Where is the vibe most like my own?  Where do I want to be?  I checked into a number of them, asking about the cost of a booth, the traffic, getting a feel for what was sold there and just the feel of the place.  In the end, I chose the absolute best place.

Not small, but not so huge that it’s overwhelming.  Nicely appointed, but not overly pretentious.  Nice people.  Nice stuff.  Everyone has their own opinion, and this just happens to fit mine.  When can I open?  There is no room, but they are expanding and come September, there will be a space available.  Sign me up!

So, now it’s August 31.  I’m moving in tomorrow.  I’ve spent months collecting.  Cleaning, fixing, and pricing.  I’ve had to buy several things to use as display pieces.  A bookshelf, desk, some tables.  Not for sale.  I’ve designed little tags to put on all the items with a description of what it is.  Provenance and some interesting info is always helpful.  And a price.   I have agonized over prices.

I research on the Internet.  What is this thing exactly?  What’s it worth?  How much can I sell it for?  Will anybody buy this?  Charge more, a little less?  Will fifty cents or a buck make a difference?  Is that outrageous?  Am I giving it away?  You get the idea.  And for an obsessive compulsive like me, it’s even worse!

I spent all day today in the garage, tagging, pricing and packing.  Sweating the whole tine.  It was hot.  The garage isn’t air-conditioned.  The dog was on the floor, using the concrete to cool off.  And I had a fan blowing on her.  My kids were in and out helping with all of this, and especially with loading the van, and the truck, and the SUV.  It took all three to accommodate the stuff.

The sun goes down, and all is ready.  Tomorrow it’s official.

That’s part of my story.   What’s yours?


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