Wishing you a vintage holiday
'Tis the season of open houses in area shops
by Leigh Elmore
A teddy bear awaits its new owner at Greenwood Mercantile. (photos by Patti Klinge)
With the aroma of hot spiced cider filling the air along with the waft of freshly cut evergreen boughs, it's beginning to look and smell a lot like Christmas in the antique and vintage stores in the Midwest.
From Fayetteville to Omaha and Tulsa to Des Moines store owners and their helpers have been busy fashioning shop decorations and their own unique holiday gift and décor items to accentuate the seasonal sales. It's simply a retailing tradition around here that makes sense.
We took to the road in the Kansas City vicinity on a recent November day and found dealers welcoming and optimistic for the upcoming shopping season. We suggest that you do the same. Included is a comprehensive list of holiday open houses coming up. Check the list and think vintage this Christmas!
305 N. Scott Ave. • Belton, MO
Pam Buttrum of Stacks Depot in Belton displays Christmas-related item on sale at the shop.
There's always a spirit of giving at Stacks Depot in Belton, a mall with 25 quality dealers. Owner Pamela Buttrum has a demonstrated desire to give back to her community. In addition to running the successful antique and vintage market, the store also serves as the venue for the Stacks Youth Project, which provides activities and structure for the young people in the community, headed by Crystal Keim, Buttrum's daughter.
On our visit, they had just raised $5,000 for youth projects in a fundraiser.
Buttrum is a talented craftsperson and has created a collection of handmade ornaments sold under the banner of "The Heart of Christmas," which includes a number of themed Christmas trees ready for sale.
"It helps to keep the spirit of the holiday in our hearts and to remember what Christmas is all about," Buttrum said.
As Time Goes By
605 W. Main • Greenwood, MO
Kris Bybee and her assistant Debbie Hoeppner from 'As Time GoesBy in Greenwood, MO.
Kris Bybee calls her passion for antiques, "a different mess, a different day," and has parlayed that enthusiasm into As Time Goes By, her 20-dealer shop in the antique-laden town of Greenwood. It's been successful enough to help pay for her kids' college education though.
Bybee, her dealers and friend, Debbie Hoeppner, were busy early in November in a last minute push to get all the decorations up for the first holiday open house of the season.
Gwen Fulton, a dealer from Pleasant Hill, showed a clever use for those old Reader's Digest Condensed Books that seem to lurk in everyone's basement. Fulton's husband sawed out each volume in the shape of a large block letter of the alphabet.
"They are fun to display," she said. "Plus you can get more than a dime for the book this way."
Old Glory & Friends
501 W. Main •
Owner Vicki Hale (right) of Old Glory & Friends gets ready for the season with her friend Pat Feller. The shop is primarily primitive items.
One step into Old Glory & Friends in tiny Greenwood and you know that someone has been busy getting ready for the holiday sales season.
"We've been busy for two weeks already," said Vicky Hale, the sole proprietor of the shop specializing in American Country and primitives. "I have enlisted my daughter and my friends to do some baking."
A steady stream of customers attested to the quality of the shop's inventory. "We always come here for the best in country and primitives," said Penny Sumner of Lee's Summit, who was shopping with her friend Kaye Noland of Gladstone.
Hale has owned the shop since 2000 and hasn't looked back. "I was just drawn to it," she said. "It started out as a hobby and now…"
She'll spend time searching out old items in Pennsylvania and Ohio and bringing them back to Missouri for sale. "If you want the good stuff you have to go and get it," she said.
409 W. Main •
Sandee Millett (in plaid) takes care of business with Donna Foster.
The holiday open houses are a much-anticipated tradition for the 20 dealers at Greenwood Mercantile, owned by Sandee Millett for the last 16 years. Plus, for the last 10 years she has owned Millett & Co. up the street at 808 Main St. Since retiring as a marketing professional from Hallmark Cards, Millett has made quite a mark in the Kansas City antique scene, with four retail outlets and successful antique show promotion.
"People really look forward to our open houses in Greenwood," Millett said. "It's really become a tradition."
A tradition that Barbara and Greg Vance, customers from Kingsville, MO would not miss and they were present for the first open house in November. "This is our favorite shop and we are regular customers," Barbara Vance said. "We have gotten a lot of neat stuff from each of the ladies here."
Not to mention an early dose of Christmas cheer.
Leigh Elmore can be contacted at email@example.com
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