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Antique Marketplace owner Carly Willis: A Vintage Life


By Karen Meador

“Definitely an experience,” is how Antique Marketplace owner Carly Willis describes growing up at Thornewood Castle, built from the brick and other materials of a dismantled 15th-century manor house imported from England.


The vast estate inspired an early appreciation of history and its artifacts, as did working in her family’s antique mall, the Tacoma Antique Center in Fife. Beginning at age 12, she worked under her father’s tutelage, seeing first-hand the inner-workings in the world of collectibles and antiques.

After stints working in a marshmallow factory and as a camel wrangler, she decided to follow in her father’s entrepreneurial footsteps, beginning with a small antiques and collectibles business, specializing in costume and fine jewelry. Working with her family, she opened Antique Marketplace in Auburn in 2020, where she has enjoyed the support of the local community who have “rallied around us in so many ways.” As one of the youngest antique mall owners in the state, she strives to create awareness and appreciation for vintage items of all types as well as the history that surrounds them, particularly among “the younger generation.”

Antique Marketplace is an experience with something for everyone, featuring over 100 dealers with beautifully curated displays, appealing to all ages from all walks of life. According to Willis, it’s about preserving history and showing appreciation for the community that has been a “joy to work with.”

Meet Carly at Neely Mansion on Saturday, Sept. 23

Meet Carly Willis – the featured speaker at Neely Mansion – on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, from 1 – 3 p.m.


A brief business meeting will precede the presentation; light refreshments will be served.


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