Make an Appointment, Please

Most people find antique shops fun and interesting. They are filled with things from our past, from far off places, and from distant times. The merchandise is not the only entertaining act. The knowledge of the owners and staff can be incredible too, with their quick informative remarks about the paintings on the wall and the silver in the cabinet.

Let me reflect on the joys of being a shop owner. It is a joy to be part of people’s lives, such as being a place Jackie will remember forever. Her boyfriend purchased a gold and diamond Deco promise ring for her from my shop and presented it to her there. There is also Laura, who has been shopping with us for 12 years. When she asked us to design her new home, I was honored. Joanne called for the second time. She was so pleased with the first time that we assisted her family that the she called us when a second family member needed to downsize. I was delighted to purchase items from them and guide them through the maze of clearing out a home.

And sometimes, it’s just a quick hello from customers like Marilyn (who occasionally drops off a Blackbird Bakery chocolate cookie). These short visits and friendly faces are often a needed distraction in a busy day. I enjoy knowing my customers and being part of the community.

However, sometimes I am confronted by people requesting “just a minute” of my time. One woman dropped in recently and asked if I could offer assistance in identifying several items she intended to present as gifts. The store was busy and I asked her to come back at another time. She could not as she was giving the gifts the next day. How much happier we both could have been if she had called for an appointment before the crucial eleventh hour!

Like all small business owners, my typical day is fractured: paperwork, cleaning, reviewing clients’ needs, paying bills, balancing accounts and other normal business details. Weaving all these things into a day is a lot. Taking care of customers and browsers at the same time pushes a workweek beyond 60 hours.

So, when thinking about a a small business or shop, go and browse (browsers can be the best PR people for a small shop) and, better yet, make a purchase (no matter the size). You are always welcome in my shop and I hope other shop owners feel the same. But do not expect a command performance. Small business owners cannot always accommodate last-minute requests.

If you call and make an appointment, you can be assured of my full attention and time. Hopefully, it will be the beginning of a beautiful relationship! We love being in this community and being a part of our customers' lives - even if it is just a small part.

Mitchell Sotka

Mitchell Sotka

The Eponymous Antique Shop Owner

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Volume 3, Issue 2, Posted 12:52 PM, 08.05.2015