The end of September ushered in the last of summer-like weather. On the final Friday of the month I noted that, oddly, the leaves had not yet begun to change color on the trees. While not completely out of the ordinary, this certainly is not typical for the last weekend in September in New England. When I awoke on Saturday, however, I was greeted by near-80 degree temperatures & a glorious array of gold, red & orange colored leaves as far as the eye could see. For me, that includes not only my immediate rural surroundings, but also the tops of the looming, gorgeous mountain ranges, beneath which, I humbly live. There is nothing like the splendor of autumn in New England, even if it comes with a slight delay & makes its entrance with a bang! Yet again we say farewell to one season while we welcome another & all that comes with it – like crisp temperatures, colorful falling leaves, apples & pumpkins, comfort foods, Halloween decorations &, of course, heading back to school. School has been back in session almost a month now, so it seemed appropriate for Antique Shop Girl to have a little “show and tell” for her readers, just like my teachers allowed us to do when I was a child returning to school from vacation. In that same spirit of recapping highlights from my summer, I am excited to feature the following narratives about three different customers who, over the summer, shared how they each made use of their recent purchases from me.
Since we’re talking about school, I thought I’d start with Kassie, the lovely Special Educator who spends her summers caring for her young son & refinishing bargain-priced vintage furniture as a hobby in her free time. Early in the summer she purchased this charming set of drawer pulls that I had recently listed in my Etsy shop.
I was drawn to their beautiful, greenish-blue color right away. They had such great vintage appeal! I had to have them….. & so did she! I’m a curious being, so I usually ask customers what they plan to do with the items they buy from me if I don’t already know. She happily told me she thought they’d be perfect for a little chest she was refinishing & said she’d send me some photos when it was done. I was thrilled when, just a few days later, she did so! Even better, she had sent both before AND after photos. Needless to say, I was blown away by the transformation! I would sell that chest in my brick & mortar shop in an instant! I think it is safe to say that if this young teacher ever decides on a career change, she would do very well selling her DIY furniture projects to people like me! Hats off to Kassie for such an amazing job! My deepest gratitude for your business, our fun back & forth emails, & for sharing your incredible talent with my readers & me.
Next up is Wendy, the sweet girl from California with a green thumb for succulents! She spotted this squatty, old oil can just days after I listed it as a watering can.
I confess I have a slight addiction for tiny oil cans with funky spouts or unique shapes. I always have a few on hand, especially over the summer because they make great watering cans or garden display pieces, even rustic center pieces for weddings. This one melted my heart when I saw it. My motto is to only buy & sell what I love, so this one came home with me & went right up for sale….but not for long! Check out its new home. I must say, it appears to be fitting in quite comfortably! Many thanks, Wendy, for sharing these idyllic photos & for doing business with Antique Shop Girl. Happy gardening!
Lastly is a story that actually took two summers to come to fruition! In the town where I live there is a generations-old dairy farm that recently had moved its dairy store from the farm on the outskirts of town, to a perfect main street location. Previously if you wanted fresh, local milk you had to travel down a steep & curvy road to get to their small farm store.
Now the new dairy store is prominently and conveniently situated right in the heart of town. What’s even better, the store is much larger with ample parking & a lovely sitting area to accommodate the attached ice cream scoop shop featuring their new line of homemade ice cream & soft serves, made with all local ingredients, including their wholesome, farm-fresh milk! Since they opened, the shop has been hopping with customers enjoying not only “wicked good” ice cream, but the gorgeous views of the spectacular mountain range which graces this town’s landscape.
When the shop was first under construction two summers ago, one of the owner’s was tasked with decorating the new store, so she stopped into my antique shop to ask if I could help her find a vintage ice cream cone sign. This is not the first time a local business has approached me to assist in locating vintage décor pieces. Not only is it an honor to be asked to participate in such an endeavor, it is a fun challenge to search out & find what they have in mind to create the right atmosphere & ambience for their respective businesses. The treasure hunt assigned to me by the dairy would be a challenge. Not only did I have a strict budget, but the owner wanted simply a plain, large ice cream cone, double sided & with no text on it whatsoever. This would be tricky for a number of reasons. First, vintage advertising has become extremely expensive & in high demand over the past two decades. Finding a great piece just might cost you a mortgage payment & then some! And secondly, while ice cream signage is still in plentitude, finding a piece with no brand name or wording on it, however, is quite rare. Well, this tough Antique Shop Girl was not to be daunted by such facts, so I ardently began my search, truly expecting it to take quite some time to locate just the right sign.
I started out at one of my favorite picking haunts, simply because there I always seemed to find the unexpected at terrific prices. I headed right to the special niche I always checked first at this secret spot of mine. Slowly I walked around this area numerous times, scanning every nook & cranny for anything ice cream. When I am on the hunt for a particular item, I repeat this pattern of scrutinizing my surroundings over & over again because the eyes simply can’t take in everything all at once & it’s easy to miss something, even if it is staring you right in the face! Sure enough, on my third circle around I was facing the area to my left when I stopped in my tracks because I had a hunch something was behind me. When I turned around, there it was, casually leaning up against the wall behind a table, so faded it almost had blended in with the back drop, a cut-out, wooden ice cream cone sign nearly as tall as me! Upon finding it, I could literally hear all the angels singing that one note symphony when something great has happened…. “ahhhhhhhh!!” Perhaps the “picking gods” & the angels really were watching over me that day because I could not believe my uncanny luck. The price was within budget, so minutes later I was loading it into my car. Trust me, picking is rarely ever this easy. It was just one of those magical days that you want to write about. Funny how that has worked out, too!
As soon as I returned home I gave the dairy owner a call & she came right over. I knew ahead of time she had planned to customize whatever it was I found, so I was hopeful the faded paint on the sign would not disappoint her. It could easily be repainted & brought back to its former glory. Even on the off chance she didn’t want it, I knew I could sell it in my physical shop, so either way it had been a good purchase for me. Thankfully, however, she liked it & thought it would work for what she had imagined for the dairy store. So off she went with it, telling me on her way out that, more than likely, it would not be ready until the following summer. Everything had happened so quickly, I never had an opportunity to photograph it in its as-found state. Flash forward to this summer when I stopped in for my annual soft serve indulgence & I spied the ice cream cone proudly standing at the edge of the sitting area. Cue the angel sound again!! How exciting it was to see it looking absolutely wonderful, as if it had always been there! Oh how I wish I had a “before photo” at that moment. You will just have to take my word that when I found it, it truly looked very similar to this, except for the colors being quite faded: Here is the text that was added to the back side. Simple yet perfectly fitting for this business. A job well done!
I like the feeling of leaving my mark in this tiny, friendly town. Whether it’s renovating an historic, old home or helping out a local business in a roundabout way, it’s a good feeling to know that years from now, somebody will still remember my contribution, no matter how meagre. So when I drive by the dairy stand & see folks like these enjoying ice cream & the pretty views….…..or like the elderly woman I saw just the other day sitting in their lovely lounge swings next to the vintage sign I found, pumping her legs & licking her cone with child-like innocence….. ….well, nothing makes my heart happier to know that I played a very small part in somehow making that joy possible. My sincerest thanks to everyone at Hatchland’s!