For decades, people have been buying and selling antique items for a variety of reasons, but if you could assign a current trend in the business, Linda Sprague of St. Joseph would say people are currently buying “Anything that they grew up with, no longer have, and want to have back.”
For Linda herself, one thing that she would like to have back is more of her own time. Thus, by mid-December she plans to reclaim some of her time by “slowing down a bit,” through retirement. Sprague has owned and operated State Street Antiques in the heart of the central business district in downtown St. Joseph for more than 17-years now, and is ready to make that change by closing down her business located at 417 State Street in the city.
Linda tells us, “I have decided to retire, and although Covid has taken a toll on my business, I am not closing because of that.” She adds, “In fact, business has been brisk since I was able to reopen in mid-June, but after 17 years in business I have decided to slow down a bit.”
So, the sale has begun at State Street Antiques across the street from The Buck, Burgers & Brew, “with everything priced to sell.” By way of example, Linda says, “Many items are already half off.”
Current plans are for the last day in business to be around mid-December, but the store will be open until then daily from noon to 4 pm with the exception of Tuesdays. She is also available to open at other times by request. To gain an off hours showing, you can call Linda at 983-7422.
Linda admits, “I have enjoyed so much being a merchant in St. Joseph, and the saying is true—if you love what you do, it does not seem like work.” Fortunately, things picked up so well once she was able to reopen that she wonders aloud, “Is summer over already?”
Linda has seen a lot of the course of her 17 years in the business, but it only took a second for her to recall the most memorable sale she had ever made, telling me, “It was a beautiful blue glass and hydrostone House of David wall hanging with a chariot on it. It was in mint condition and on the larger size, so had a pretty high ticket price on it. It was there for probably three years, then one day a gentleman came in and immediately bought it. He had never even heard of the House of David. He just loved it as a work of art.”
Perhaps the most unique item she had the pleasure of selling was considerably smaller in size. She says that was “A Victorian locket, only about an inch long. When you opened it, it had a tiny magnifying glass that popped out.”
Lot of things have come in and out of the doors at 417 State Street over the years, but nothing so hot as her vast collection of vinyl. Linda says, without question, “The hottest selling category is vinyl records, vinyl records, vinyl records. I have been selling them since 2008, but for the past 5 years they have been tremendously popular.”
It’s like she said, people are in search of “Anything that they grew up with, no longer have, and want to have back.” We wish her well in her impending retirement, and invite you to search for your own brand of bargain in the closing days ahead.