I adore items from the past. Locke’s Five and Dime along with Lays Department Store in downtown McMinnville fueled my interest in unique and unusual keepsakes as a child.
As I got older, I always enjoyed going to antique stores with family members. Every shelf and aisle would hold endless curiosities and collectibles that spoke to my love of history and art.
Without trying I was learning about the past. The tags would explain what it was hanging off of or taped to in enough words to explain what the item was and its time period. On my own I was able to seek out treasures at thrift stores, estate sales or vintage shops.
One such shop in Knoxville became a favorite. It is called Nostalgia and the name described the contents and vibe perfectly. In 2008, I obtained a small booth and became a dealer there. The first space was small and just what I needed to dip my foot in the water of dispersing what I had collected and found while piddling around town and in East Tennessee. I had never done anything like this before. It was good that I started out small until I figured out what I was doing. I soon outgrew that space and added another to accommodate the bigger pieces such as vintage art, furniture, lighting and clothing.
I was hooked on finding my next treasure and sending it back into the world. Along with the hunt was the research. I’ve always enjoyed digging deeper to find answers about what I needed to know to fill in the blanks.
Soon I became the “go-to gal” for the other dealers who needed help with their items’ descriptions and values. I have to admit though that glassware, some silverware and Asian artifacts still vex me.
I still have booths at Nostalgia that contain a variety including vintage clothing, vinyl records, ephemera, pottery, magazines, children’s books, holiday decorations and my favorite, costume jewelry that ranges from the 1940s to the 1970s. Since moving back, the dealers’ questions have waned, but I still love seeing what they have questions about.
An idea popped into my head this might be an opportunity to create an informative column for the Southern Standard where you, the reader, submit an item you would like to know more information about and possibly its value. I am not a licensed appraiser so the dollar amount would be a guestimate to what I find through my research.
OK Warren County, email me a photo of your treasures and collectibles. If you do have some family history that is a bonus but not necessary. Let’s see what we can learn together!
Standard reporter Jennifer Woods can be reached at 473-2191.