The antique trade is not new, but it definitely does change.
Traditional antique lovers appreciate antiques for their historical value, art, and quality. There also is an exciting new market for antiques that are supplementing the traditional market. Objects that often were discarded because they were broken or primitive have been discovered. Pieces and parts of antiques are now sought after, and there is a growing interest in acquiring antiques for creative and unusual uses.
Additionally, there is a new crowd that sees the artistic side of antiquities for the first time in their lives. This group is looking for creative potential in antiques and brings new energy to the ways in which antiques are viewed. Their purchases may be made because customers like the item for its shape, feel or potential for inclusion into artwork or home furnishings.
The hunt, the find and the discovery are all part of antiquing. For Carrie McEnroe, owner of the Creamery Antique Mall in Stevensville, making her shop a destination point for people of all interests is her goal. This is difficult to achieve, but McEnroe, with the help of her staff and vendors, is determined. She selected the former Stevensville Creamery building for her antique business because of its history, large size and potential for both indoor and outdoor use.
The mall’s size has allowed for great expansion in the four short years since it opened. McEnroe has doubled the amount of showroom space, added an outdoor venue, and now offers special events such as flea markets and a hot spot for the Bitterroot 50 Mile Garage Sale. She has her eye on using the remaining space within the building and on-site in years to come.
McEnroe is creating a business where discriminating customers can find most anything they want, including surprises they did not even know they were looking for until they see it showcased in the mall. Creamery Antique Mall personnel challenge themselves to find antiques for the current market and its evolving customers. That requires extensive travel, detective work and the ability to find people with interesting items who are willing to sell them. Dealers must have an eye to spot the traditional, the unique, the artistic potential of items, and at times the bizarre. For some buyers, the bizarre is of the most interest.