It’s Safe to Come In (Pie Safe, that is!)

FullSizeRender (1)Come On in!

This is what presently greets you when you walk into Suzanne’s Cottage. A compact pie safe!

It’s eye candy for a Treasure Hunter Junk Lady like myself.

This particular piece is about 10 inches square at the base, and about 24 inches high. I’d get you specific measurements, but I’m not at home as I jot down these notes. I picked it up in my travels in New Hampshire, and I fell in love with it the moment I laid my eyes upon it.

What is it – Really?

I call it a pie safe, more as shorthand than fact. There are no shelves it it, but there is a hook in the top for hanging some food stuff , and the screen was clearly for keeping bugs and mice at bay.

Fellow pickers at the local swap shed have several nicknames for me, one of them being “Lamp Lady”. So true to form, I stuck a lamp in this artifact and called it a day.

I smile whenever I pass this cool vertical design element in my front hallway. I’ve had it there for a few months, and I still think it’s a found treasure.

Charles, my other half, isn’t so convinced (yet). He is quite supportive and he’s reasonably knowledgable for a guy whose idea of decorating is picking up his dirty laundry off the floor. So I trust he’ll come around soon.

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How to Stay Closer to Home

I captured a bunch of photos of my new booth space. This is the closest you will ever get to me doing a "selfie"!
I captured a bunch of photos of my new booth space. This is the closest you will ever get to me doing a “selfie”!

I’m Back!

I’ve been incommunicado for a few weeks. I made a major decision to cut back my weekly driving and remain closer to home. More about that as this story unfolds.

My Self-imposed Grind

For a couple years I have had shop space in the lovely little town of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. For the past year, I have been keeping space in two shops. My most recent space was at Covey House. Clare has a beautiful shop on the Town Common, and her husband has just opened a cute little cafe within the shop.

Meanwhile, I had acquired space in 101 Treasures in Wilton, NH. Now I was driving to the farm two days a week, one day to Fitzwilliam, and another to Wilton. My hobby was becoming a chore. I was on the road four days a week.

From Suzanne’s Cottage (home), the farm is a one hour drive to the East. Fitzwilliam is a one hour drive in a Northwesterly direction, and Wilton is an hour North. And since I know you will ask, Fitzwilliam is about 45 minutes from Wilton.

The grind of this schedule has weighed heavily on me for the past couple months. Though I plan on leaving the farm this summer, I knew my schedule needed to cut back sooner.

My Solution: Consolidate – Closer to Home

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to expand my footprint at 101 Treasures. So I made the difficult decision to leave Covey House and consolidate both shops into a single, larger space. By so doing, I saved a day of driving every week.

This made sense for scheduling, driving and economics. But leaving friends is difficult and creates a stress of it’s own. I’ll miss Clare and the Covey House gang (though I will still drop by to shop and visit, but not every week).

In the meantime, I have been warmly welcomed by Donna, at 101 Treasures. I look forward to establishing myself in my new location, closer to home.

When I mentioned this title to Charles, he started singing an old Grand Funk Railroad tune. He’s been singing this all week. I swear he’s gonna drive me nuts.

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My latest Antiques Co-op Space – 101 Treasures

This photo is Day One at 101 Treasures. There's more stuff there now.
This photo is Day One at 101 Treasures. There’s more stuff there now.

Locations

I am delighted to have a new space in another shop. I am now a dealer at 101 Treasures in Wilton, New Hampshire.

I am still in my flagship location at Covey House in Fitzwilliam, NH.

Why 101 Treasures?

Friends are often perplexed when they hear I have spaces in various shops. They’ll often ask why not just get more space where I am.

This is a peculiar business. An item can sit in Shop A for five months with no bites. Then I move it a few miles away to Shop B and the item sells in the first week.

Many shops have different followings. Others share many customers. Oftentimes customer demographics can vary greatly from one location to another.

When I find a new treasure, typically I know where it’s going. This item is a Shop A piece. That one is a Shop B piece.

It’s about People

Every Co-op shop has a micro-culture that is unique. The shops have a distinct personality that emanates directly from the owner.

What is the owner’s personality? What are her values? Is she hospitable? Do you feel welcome as you step into the shop? What is the business model? All these factors are important if you wish to rent a Co-op space.

This is not overly complex. It’s common sense. People enjoy doing business with people who they like and trust. That is the same whether you’re a vendor renting space in the shop, or a customer seeking her next treasure. What do you look for when you visit a shop for the very first time? How do you feel when you leave? Do you know you will be back?

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