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"Because we built this structure, and we owned the building and rented it to our tenant, and he just came to us and said 'I'm done, I'm retired' and we didn't know what to do with all these dealers," Shatswell said. "So I've been home with the kids for 20 years, and my husband said 'guess what: you're an antique store owner'."
Shatswell had never run a business before. She met with the 34 employees who worked there to find out what to do. "We just basically came in and said 'What do we do? How do we do this?' And our employees who've been in antiques for 35, 40 years showed us what to do. And now I love it. Now I'm addicted to it. It's a business anybody can do."
The shop had around 34 dealers in June of 2009. Today, there are 85 dealers ranging from their 20s to 80s.
Shatswell said there was little in the way of advertising she had to do. Most of the business came from word-of-mouth.
The store has now grown to full capacity, and Shatswell has even found it necessary to use the building behind them. "We're full right now in this store," Shatswell said. "We can't even expand anymore because we have the full shopping center already."
The shop specializes in Depression glass, and has a variety of vintage jewelry. One dealer sells vintage records from the 30s to the 70s. "We're finding kids in their late twenties, early thirties, which I would have never expected, are huge antique shoppers," Shatswell said. "They're furnishing their homes now with old quality furniture instead of going to department stores and malls and these furniture stores, we have a huge clientele of younger people."
Popular items that are selling fast are clocks and radios, but they can hardly keep small furniture around. "We get small nightstands, a small little buffet, a small little piece, it's gone," Shatswell said. "And before, furniture wasn't doing well. It's picking up; it's really doing well now."
Shatswell holds four auctions a year, the next one being some time in mid-summer. She also has a flea market sale once a month, where different venders can come in, set up, and sell for the day.
Shatswell doesn't know what she's going to do yet to celebrate her first year of success, but definitely wants to do something special. "This has all just happened so fast and we really need to do something, because it has grown to be something we never expected."
Antique Warehouse & Auctions is located at 5351 Pirrone Rd. Salida, Calif. 95368. Store hours are 11 p.m. - 6 p.m. seven days a week, but hours will change in the summer to be from 10 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, go to www.AntiqueWarehouseAuctions.com.