Treasure hunting was something relegated to child’s play or to be done by swashbuckling men who love rum. With their rise in popularity, treasure hunting in thrift and antique stores has become a thrill for many shoppers. For local hunters, the Antique Marketplace just brought the thrill a lot closer to home.
The Antique Marketplace is a second-generation antique mall hosting over 80 dealers selling collectibles and antiques. Owner Carly Willis transformed the former JoAnn’s retail space into a destination full of beautifully curated displays of unique and interesting items to bring home.
Inspiring Creativity and Nostalgia
The hand-painted border around the store is one of the most stunning changes to the space. “I wanted something that would draw customers in and inspire creativity as well as nostalgia,” shared Willis. “I’m so glad it’s a piece that Brittany Jahns felt inspired to create. She put her heart and soul into it and it really shows.”
Raised in her family’s antique mall in Fife, the Tacoma Antique Center, Willis is excited “to build on everything I learned at our previous mall to make this one even better.”
“I believe that more than ever, people need something to look forward to, “continued Willis. “We offer a reprieve from the difficult times we are in. Our mall allows patrons a getaway where they don’t have to think about the outside world.”
It’s important to know the difference between a thrift store, like Main Street Thrift, and an antique store or marketplace. A thrift store sells gently used clothing (and other items) at bargain prices. An antique store or marketplace specializes in selling antiques and vintage items. Prices at antique stores vary, but thrift store prices shouldn’t be expected.
Positivity in the Face of a Pandemic
Opening a business during an economy-wounding pandemic isn’t for the faint of heart. But with the unrelenting support of her loyal customers and dealers, Willis remains optimistic. “This pandemic has created an even stronger sense of community among our dealers and customers, so we’ve reaped the benefits of that.”
Despite opening the doors to the public on the same day the new restrictions went into effect, Willis remains positive. “I think I knew going into this crazy venture during this crazy time that there were definitely going to be challenges. This is just another one on the list.”
“I would count our first day as a success!” Willis continued. “I think it went quite well given it was the first day of a 25% occupancy restriction. We are so thankful for our customers who’ve followed us from Fife and of course for all our new customers who are just finding us! We are so excited to be part of the community, even in crazy times such as these.”
This holiday season when you’re supporting local by shopping small (because that’s all we do around here), stop by the Antique Marketplace. Willis and all the dealers look forward to helping you find the perfect gift, and maybe a little something for yourself.
“I feel confident that this is exactly when and where we are meant to be,” said Willis, “and I cannot wait to serve an uplifting role in the community.”