First impressions are also important for antique dealers


No windows, no excuses, because you can always use a theme or color in your store or mall. If you have windows, use them. Dark, drab, and nothing to write home about, most customers will just drive by. Why am I writing about this? Because I hear so many people telling me to write something about it to encourage more stores, boutiques and antique centers to fix this problem. Also for adding handcrafted items to the mix, and for working with good displays showing color and excitement. That’s why!

A front view of Old Rooster Antiques in Rochester. (Photo contributed)

Wayne Jordan, Certified Personal Property Appraiser, Certified Business Broker, Writer and Columnist with Antiquity Trader, told me, “For the younger generations, vintage is cool! So what does this mean for the antique business? Most dealerships offer a mix of handcrafted products and advertise to attract a lot of new, young customers by using vintage, retro and farmhouse styles in their marketing. “

Melissa Klema, Adourn, Chatfield: “Visual presentation before customers even enter the store is very important! It makes them want to explore further or move on. I went to school for visual merchandising, and this is one of my favorite parts of the store! Creating fun, inviting, creative and unique showcases has always been a priority for me. It sets the vibe and the backdrop for my brand and the vibe of the store.

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“I make them all by hand and change them about once a month. I change the window furniture every week or two, to maintain a nice rotation. People comment on my windows quite a bit, saying how beautiful they are and how they like to see all of my work in shop windows. I have people who say they stop specifically because the storefronts caught their eye and they wanted to see the whole store. Very nice compliments from people about them! It also beautifies the small town and the historic main street which I think is so important!

A mix of old and new at Adourn in Chatfield.  (Photo contributed)

A mix of old and new at Adourn in Chatfield. (Photo contributed)

Sarah Kieffer, Sarah’s Uniques and Jim’s “Man” ticks, St. Charles: “I love decorating my window in front of my store with bright colors and wonderful things to use! Right now my windows are decorated with lots of things you can use for the outdoors, such as wash tubs, pots, gardening books, and many other spring decorating ideas. These items can be seen from the outside and bring people into the store.

“They can then look around and see all the other great items for camping, kitchens, collecting and more! Jim and I pride ourselves on having collectibles and up to date for each season, and items that are in style now! This is definitely not the antique store of 20 years ago!

A mix of old and new at Sarah's Uniques and Jim's

A mix of old and new at Sarah’s Uniques and Jim’s “Man” ticks in St. Charles. (Photo contributed)

Shayna Dais, Rusty Bucket, Winona: “The Rusty Bucket has a mix of new items, as well as our repurposed and handcrafted items that we match with our monthly window themes inside the store.”

A window at Rusty Bucket in Winona is decorated for an upcoming sale.  (Photo contributed)

A window at Rusty Bucket in Winona is decorated for an upcoming sale. (Photo contributed)

Joan Thilges, New Generations of Harmony: “We have a number of sellers who mix new items, repurposed or handmade items, with vintage and antique pieces. We encourage this as it keeps the Antique Mall to stay current and attract a wide age range of customers. There is a lot of commonality in vintage, country, farmhouse, industrial and even shabby chic. ”

Sandy Erdman is a Winona-based freelance writer and certified appraiser specializing in vintage, antique and collectibles. Send your comments and article suggestions to Sandy at [email protected]

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