What's antiquing all about? How do you make money off it? Aren't you just reselling other peoples' junk?
I've been asked these questions by a number of people, particularly people who know me through school or work who've seen my website and are wondering how I acquired all that stuff and why.
Antiquing is a hobby in which people collect items from the past, at least 20-30 years old, which have either historical value or personal value to the person buying them. It could be a Raggedy Ann doll that's beat up and worth nothing commercially but means the world to someone who remembers her favorite childhood toy. Or it could be a rare book for sale at a garage sale for $1 but in actuality is worth $500. Some people ride bikes, some people garden. Others antique.
I spent this Saturday at my favorite place to treasure hunt - Renninger's Antiques & Farmer's Market. It's on a massive plot of land in the rural town of Mount Dora. Once you get off the Florida Turnpike you'll notice an increasing amount of hand-painted signs advertising gator jerky and boiled peanuts.
Ahh, the American south.
It's a bit of a drive from Orlando but it's like an amusement park for antiquers so it's worth it. There are dozens of indoor & outdoor shops which are set up like little cottages and barns. It kind of feels like you're on a back lot set of an old Western movie.
Within the shops, some of the items are organized and some are just piled on top of each other. It's up to you to accept the challenge and dig for buried treasure. Sometimes you'll get lucky and find something wonderful hiding under all the dust & grime. Antiquing at the outdoor shops @ Renninger's isn't for the faint of heart. From May until October the temperature is in the high 90s so you're going to get your hands dirty and your ass sweaty, no doubt about it.
This trip was a successful one for me. I gave myself a strict budget and adhered to it (and even had enough leftover to buy a hot dog & lemonade from the concession stand). I ended up with a lot of cool pieces. For me, a good buy is one that I think others will be interested in buying, but if it doesn't end up selling, I love it so much that I'm happy to keep it on my bookshelf at home. That's what I take into consideration when antiquing.
So in a nutshell, antiquing isn't just buying other peoples' junk that they're throwing away and trying to make a quick buck. Those of us who devote our weekends to it are in it for the thrill of the chase - spending hours sifting through piles of debris looking for a hidden gem that has been forgotten, that we can bring back to life.