An antique store is a wonderful place to meet people. Everywhere you look is another curiosity and every curiosity is a conversation starter.
Shannon Kelly-Keough is the proprietor of Greenwood City Antiques and runs the business three days a week with the help of her husband Terry.
Terry was in the shop last Friday and pointed out two limited edition prints that illustrate the point. “We couldn’t read the language on the back and we had been asking anyone who comes in. One fellow recognized one as from Holland and the other he thought was from Italy. We didn’t get them to read the back but later there came a man from Romania who could speak French. When I asked him he replied, ‘Well it says right here,’ he said! ‘Antwerp in Belgium—it even gives the street and the other is from Southern France.’
So now they know a bit of the provenance of the pieces, though they still don’t know the artist.” Shannon and Terry like to find out where things are from and the story behind the piece and the place. “It makes a big difference to people, the historical significance of things.” It all adds to the conversation too.
Shannon says people stop at the smallest antique store in Canada’s smallest city from all around the world. She explained that Greenwood City Antiques is a bit different than a consignment shop. “We are our own pickers. You just never know what you are going to come across.”
When I asked the difference between vintage and antique, Shannon explained vintage is at least 20 years old and antique is over 80. “We just say vintage and older,” she explained, adding that “retro” generally refers to anything produced in the past which is currently out of fashion.
They have several issues of old Canada West magazines, popular with the men while their wives shop.
The Robert Service first edition that was there last month has sold; it’s place of honour being taken by a Jesse James firstedition book. Inventory changes every week when you are selling one-of-a-kind items. “I still have my house full and we are always on the hunt for stuff. So we encourage people to come back because there is always going to be something new that’s old,” Shannon said.
“It is so enjoyable when you love history and old history stuff. When people come in, that’s why they are here. Whether they buy something or not it is just great—we love to share stories and talk about old things. “
Shannon declares she loves the shop. “This is so much fun. This has just been a blast. I love coming to work. I didn’t know if I would like it or not. I thought I might miss my garden while I was here, but I don’t.”
They have everything from a bronze horse head weighing almost 32 kg (70 pounds); a bronze covered wagon table lamp with clock, with the wagon driver’s switch whipping the team; and Elvis bubble gum trading cards that are still in their original packaging. They opened one package and have the cards on display—young pelvis Elvis, old chubby Elvis, Army Elvis and more.
For the brave, the shop even has a gas-powered iron for pressing your clothes; also collector plates from the Norman Rockwell “Rediscovered Women” series and a Russian Legend series of plates—the first limited edition collector plates fired in Russia, with gold lines painted on the plates so fine it was done with a brush with only three hairs.
“Everybody is welcome just to come and look and if they like, to start a conversation,” said Shannon.
Greenwood City Antiques is located at 309 Copper Street in Greenwood and open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays. Phone 250-498-7806 and online at gcantiques.ca.