We all know the weather in January can be finicky. Cold and rainy one day, blue skies and blustery the next. Admittedly we live in a part of the country where you can get outside for chores or fun almost any time of the year, but the short, cold days of January, with its unpredictable weather, beg for indoor fun. For me and my two kids, browsing through an antique mall is a great way to pass the time. It’s like a great big treasure hunt. Some people might go with a specific treasure in mind, such as collectors of Depression glass or Fiesta ware. Others, like me, don’t have to have a treasure in mind to find something fun that you just have to have on an antique shopping spree. Best of all, no matter how often you visit your favorite antique store, you’re sure to always find something different.
One place we like to go is the King Antique Mall. With 23 vendors, there’s always such a great variety of things to peruse and potentially purchase. My kids are always drawn to the toys. Original Star Wars figures from the 70s and beautiful baby dolls with China heads are hard to resist, even when I try to explain that we’re not going to buy them because they’re really not to be played with.
I tend to prefer the smaller, unique items, such as flower vases and framed art. Sometimes I fall in love with the art itself, other times it’s just a great buy for a good, wooden frame. And of course, there was a time in my life when I was on the look for antique furniture to help fill my house that had gotten its start with family heirlooms. Unfortunately I don’t need any more furniture, because every time I visit the King Antique Mall I find something that I wish I could make room for.
For me, what sets King Antique Mall apart from other antique malls and flea markets is its knowledgeable, accessible staff. Proprietor Joy Tuttle has years of experience with antiques, and is always available to answer any questions when she’s at the mall. She is also available to schedule appraisals if you have antiques or collectibles of your own and you’d like to know their worth. And of course, her staff is also friendly and able to answer any questions if you find something while you’re shopping that you have never seen before and want to know its purpose, or if you want to negotiate a price.
Often, lovers of antiques are lovers of all things old, and many of us live in older homes that need a lot of TLC. That’s where One Way Antiques comes in. Open to the public on Saturdays, and by appointment Tuesday through Friday, One Way Antiques is your go-to place for salvaged materials including doors, windows, shutters, gates, wrought iron structures and even little things like door knobs and hinges. Owners Rick and Carolyn Landreth have a strong belief in salvaging the past, and through recycling the items that were such important parts of older homes they are not only keeping things out of the landfills but also honoring the hardworking craftsmen who otherwise would be forgotten.
Another great place to visit is Just Plain Country Store. Their motto, “If Granny had it, We got it!”, is true. They have everything from furniture to quilts and collectibles and some very unique, one-of-a-kind items. Located in Walnut Cove, Just Plain Country Store is worth a visit.
Take a walk down memory lane this weekend, and spend some time in one of Stokes County’s fabulous antique stores. My advice is to go with an open mind, and no time limit. After all, you want plenty of time to explore every nook and cranny in each booth!