Today when we think antiques or antique store we think of our parents,’ grandparents’ or great-grandparents’ old stuff that today’s generation really doesn’t want. I do workshops all of the time, and folks ask me what they should do if their kids don’t want their items. That’s why you find so many items in thrift shops.
The answer is to think vintage.
Wayne Jordan, a certified personal property appraiser, accredited business broker and writer said to “contrast ‘antique’ with the word “vintage.” All the urban dictionary definitions surrounding the word “vintage” were positive. To the younger generations, “vintage” is cool, and “antique” is not.
So what does that mean for the antiques business? By association, antiques stores are not cool.
“Most dealers carry a mix of antiques, collectibles and vintage goods,” Jordan said. “If all of your advertising emphasizes “antiques,” you probably aren’t attracting many new, young customers. But, add handcrafted, retro, farm style and vintage to your marketing and you will find younger customers shopping.
Of late I am seeing more shops advertising handcrafted items. Occasional markets, arts and craft shows and flea markets are no longer exclusively promoted as “antiques” events, but showcase vintage goods and handcrafted items that compliment the venue.
I like vintage shops that showcase items for this generation. I found several in this area and could take you on a road trip to find more.
Treasures Under Sugar Loaf is an antiques/vintage mall mixed with handcrafted items. Owner Brenda Jannsen tells us why they have the mix.
“It’s a great way of involving more diverse members of the community to be involved in the shop and to encourage this generation to shop with us! We even looked at our name of the business to find a catchy name for an antique mall under the Winona Sugar Loaf hill or some call it a mountain.”
While in Winona also check out The Rusty Bucket, an occasional shop, with Shayna Dais and friends, at 175 E. 3rd St., “We do have handcrafted items in our shop mixed with our vintage items,” Shayna says.
Sarah and Jim Kieffer, of Sarah’s Uniques and Jim’s ‘Man’tiques in St. Charles, is a great example of a business name that piques our curiosity.
Sarah says she has a limited selection of handcrafted items and adds them to showcase vintage and a few antique items.
“I can add handcrafted items, such as in a vintage chair I can just add a handcrafted pillow that we carry. Jim in the men’s area also displays a few handcrafted items to use in a men’s area in the home along with his gas pumps, tools, cast iron and more.”
Melissa Klema, owner of Adourn in Chatfield, said, “I have so many one of a kind pieces, some great handcrafted accessories, candles and jewelry. I’ve expanded the lines I carry so there are lots of new things with the refurbished vintage and antique furniture. Customers tell me how beautiful the shop is, how nicely done everything is, and how it’s so nice to see this small business thriving in a small town with my nice mix of old and new. I am bringing items into my shop that are more refined, calling it a refined Farmhouse look.”
Paul Bennett of Dwell Local in Rochester says his shop “is much more than a shop that carries many handcrafted items of art, jewelry, home décor, soy candles, locally found objects, repurposed and vintage items. “To us, it’s a lifestyle,” Bennett says. A place for great local makers to connect with great local neighbors.”
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