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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I am not a stalker. But the question is: Will I find YOU in Florence, Colorado?

Not that long ago, I started asking people what they were doing in Florence and what they were intending to do with what they purchased in our fair burg.

Every one has a true story, but I didn't expect to find people from all over the state, country and world hanging out here buying really unusual things or planning to do interesting things with semi-common items.

But what I also didn't expect was the find that NOT one person refused to get photographed and asked a few questions for this blog. I do this blog semi-anonymously. I don't have anything printed up directing people to the blog. Nor do I publicize this blog much. I just do it for fun.

This all started as a slight twist on the marketing campaign in Florence: #FindItInFlorence.
I have nothing to do with that fine campaign, but think it's very clever and was happy to see Find It In Florence signs go up all over town recently.

So far I've met the most interesting people by asking people what they are doing in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

You wouldn't think there would be a common thread among dozens of people picked randomly over a year or so period. But there is. Every single one of them was fulfilling an unique dream, hobby, community service or intent on preserving history.

So, since this little venture has proven so fun to me (and I hope you) I do believe I'll continue this feature.

You never know when I'll pop up and ask you what you found in Florence. #IFoundYOUInFlorenceColorado. But will I find, YOU next as you visit the antiques capital of Colorado?

Friday, May 26, 2017

#FindItInFlorence I Found Tractor Restorer Emery Ball of Kismet, KS In The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Who did I find in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado--this time?

I found a man on a mission to preserve the history of tractors and the memories of growing up with his granddad and dad who farmed in Kansas.

                                                        Emery Ball of Kismet, Kansas

At first Emery asked me for a screwdriver to pop the lid on that can of Keystone Grease he purchased. He wanted to see how much grease was in the can. Most people buy such relics of the past for the antique or collectible value of the tin--but Emery said the old stuff works better on water pumps and stops leaks better than anything new out there.

Then we got to talking about how Emery restores tractors. But the tractors aren't for sale--they are only to preserve a part of his personal history and the history of friends, family and neighbors who worked the Kansas farmlands for decades.

People often find out about what Emery does--for the love of it and not the money--and donate antique tractors with the provision that they won't be sold. Emery also participates in tractor pulls.

Emery and his wife, Laura, were on vacation in Colorado--and often like to stop in Florence where they know they will find items perfect for restorations and other projects.

So far, Emery has 22 restored tractors on his land. Emery is a salesman by trade, but still lives on the land farmed by his family and has fond memories of working the land with his granddad and father.

Getting his father to finally retire, involved promising him they would always keep him supplied with tractors to restore. Emery said his father is now 87 and almost every day, works on restoring tractors.

Several of the tractors date to the 1920s and Emery is always on the hunt for parts--and Florence often produces just the right item.

Emery and his family live in Kismet, a town smaller than Florence, not far from Liberal, Kansas.

I am always running across interesting people living out their talents and dreams, and preserving legacies and history--who stop in Florence.The town of Florence often helps people find the tangible items needed to carry out those dreams.

This time we found Emery Ball, in Florence, carrying out his dreams and helping his father preserve a family legacy.

Will you be the next person I find in Florence ?


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Florence,Colorado: Build It, And They Will Come

Today a nice antiques store browser told me that I should contact HGTV (Home & Garden TV) about Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

The browser told me this spontaneously, as she was happily treasure hunting, having no idea--I just might take an interest in her idea.

Actually HGTV did visit Florence about two years ago for an edition of House Hunters that featured Svetlana and Gunnar Piltingsrud and their historic Victorian house. You can read a previous blog post about it here:

But this visitor today was saying that Joanna and Chip Gaines of the HGTV hit show, Fixer Upper, should be fascinated with Florence since there are so many antiques and collectibles that fit with their renovations.

I'd actually never thought of that--but excellent idea. I know the town will welcome them (or anyone) with open arms. It sounds rather fantastical--but it's not really. As I've noted on this blog, people come to Florence from all over the world. Not that many--but enough to surprise me.

And we have many people who own shops all over Colorado and come to Florence, because the variety is stupendous and the prices are usually lower than in other parts of the state.

A Denver-area customer told me the other day that shopping in Denver's antiques district is pleasant, but the prices and selection aren't as good as Florence.

Florence has built it and they will come. They've already come. But more and more visitors to Florence are expressing opinions that there is something special about Florence and think more people need to know.

I agree!

As blog readers know, Colorado Life magazine people were in town last week and a story and photo spread is in the works.

We also know the Netflix movie, Our Souls At Night, starring Jane Fonda and Robert Redford, was partially filmed in Florence last fall. Millions of people will be likely watching the movie and wondering where it was shot. And yes, many of the props were purchased right in Florence's antiques district.

Yes, many people are working tirelessly to get Florence the recognition it deserves.

Florence is one of the most quirky and interesting towns in Colorado. For years, its been a slight secret, but word is getting out.

And Florence isn't just about antiques. The picture above is just a sampling of all the outdoor art visitors can experience for free, just by strolling residential areas or taking a short drive.

You can tell the townspeople care about art and beauty. One would be happily surprised at all the homeowners turning stumps into works of art with the help of Fremont County artist, Sheldon Roberts.

Art and whimsy is in almost nook and cranny of our fair burg. I love this delight in front of the Blue Frog Gallery on Florence's Main St.

Some day I'll have a "tour" on the blog of all the outdoor art there is in Florence.

And some day we'll get the word out, even more, about all the delights in Florence, to more print media and television.

But in the meantime--remember, people have built it in Florence and they will come.

Will we find YOU next in Florence, walking the streets filled with art, antiques, eateries and friendly people?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

#FindItInFlorence --I Found A Colorado Life Magazine Writer And Photographer In Florence, The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

Today I found Colorado Life magazine staff writer, Lisa Hutchins and Joshua Hardin, the magazine's photo editor, in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado.

Every day is a good day in our fun burg, but today was one of the best days ever.

Front row: Joshua Hardin, photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, staff writer; Elsie Ore, co-owner of Heartland Antiques and Heartland Boutique; Florence mayor Keith Ore and co-owner of the Heartland stores. Back row: Rena Pryor, manager of The Loralie Antique Mall and owner of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms: Peg Piltingsrud, co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

I've been a subscriber and admirer of Colorado Life magazine for many years. Refer to my March 2016 blog post about this remarkable magazine--written way before I knew the magazine was honoring Florence with a photo spread and story.

In that 2016 blog post, I mention the world-class writing and photography and commitment to digging deep into the real Colorado. After spending an afternoon with these friendly and professional magazine folks, I can say what I wrote over a year ago, is even more deeply felt today.

For those readers who don't live in Colorado, it might be hard to imagine that a state with so many wildernesses, geographical divides and diversity of people and scenery are tight-knit. It's true. As we were all chatting around a table at Florence's Aspen Leaf cafe, what came to the forefront is that all of us love the towns we live in, but love Colorado as a whole and it binds us together.

It's the love of Colorado that Colorado Life magazine captures perfectly in each and every issue.

Check out the magazine's website at:

You heard it here first: What happens in Florence--doesn't stay in Florence.

We rarely let anyone leave Florence without a parting gift, even if it's simply the memory of a fun and friendly welcome they can take home with them. But Joshua and Lisa were treated to some jars of Bizzy Bee Honey Farms raw honey, compliments of Rena Pryor.

We took a leisurely tour of Florence's many shops and galleries and also at the 1923 Rialto Theater on Florence's Main St. Pictured above is,  Keith Ore, Peg Piltingsrud and Joshua Hardin discussing the fact that the partially-restored Rialto is one of Colorado's few existing theaters that have the original fly towers intact.

I know a fair amount about Florence's history and attributes, but today I learned almost as much about the town in a few hours than I've picked up in the last five years since I've chosen this town as home.

I'm not sure when the Florence story will appear, but when I know, I'll post it. In the meantime, those wishing to experience Colorado Life magazine, information on subscribing is at its website, or single issues are available at the check stands at the Big D Supermarket in Florence.

And I know when Colorado Life's Florence story hits the stands, I'll learn even more about our town. Best day ever!

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?

#FindItInFlorence -- I Found The Kissing Camel Women's Club In The Antiques Capital Of Colorado

So who did I find wandering the quaint streets of Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, this time?

I saw a Grayline tour bus park on Main St. We don't often see tour buses in our fair burg, so it piqued our interest.

There was a sign on the side of the bus that read: Kissing Camel Women's Club. Kissing Camel is a community in Colorado Springs located close to the stunning red rocks and scenery of Garden of the Gods.

Naturally I was wondering about the club and why they stopped in Florence, when Ginger Hanson, the club's outgoing president, dropped into ye olde antiques mall, after a delicious lunch at the Aspen Leaf.

She said the club is simply a group of neighbors devoted to friendship, education and culture. The club was formed in 2009 to share community, friendship and fun and now has over 150 members.

 The club recently decided to enjoy short day trips to Colorado destinations and chose Florence and Canon City as one of their first adventures.

Hanson and fellow club member, Nancy Vessel, took a trip down memory lane in many of Florence's antiques stores--before heading off to tour the Abbey Winery in Canon City.

                                       Nancy Vessel and Ginger Hanson: Browsing In Florence

We're thrilled that some of the neighbors and friends that form the club decided to visit their neighbors to the south in Florence.

More information on the women's club can be located at:

Friday, May 12, 2017

#FindItInFlorence: We Found YOU In Florence, Colorado--Gary & Pam Holder of Pueblo

Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. The town has the slogan: #FindItInFlorence.

I like to do a little twist on that and see if I can find YOU in Florence. You never know when or how I will pop up with my high-tech $29 cell-phone camera and a piece of scratch paper and ask you what YOU found in Florence and what you are going to do with what you found.

This time I was fortunate to find a lovely couple, Gary and Pam Holder of Pueblo shopping in Florence.

The Holders purchased a porcelain knob with SUNDRIES painted on it with a patent date of 1890. They told me they were planning on putting on their pantry door for a unique vintage touch.

Within about 10 minutes of leaving the store (in their car on the way home) they called ye olde antiques mall and asked if I could ask the antiques dealer who owned the other porcelain knobs to give them a deal if they purchased them all.

No problem. Everyone in Florence works to make visitors to our fair burg happy.

The Holders returned today and purchased the rest of the knobs to use on their kitchen cabinets.

The antiques hunters thought this would be the perfect conversation piece in their open concept home, where the kitchen can be see from many other rooms.

Now we don't kiss and tell on this blog. But the price of these antique knobs was fairly reasonable. Besides the great price and the wow factor--there was yet another reason the Holders wanted this unique find. "You simply can't find them!" Gary said.

They searched the web and a few had surfaced, but already sold and none others were available or the knobs had writing on them that wasn't as compatible with a kitchen.

I asked what the availability and prices were on reproduction knobs? Yikes! I don't condone reproductions, but I was just asking.

 OK, I was fishing around to see if Florence has the real deal for less than reproductions.

According to Gary the price for the real deal in Florence was significantly cheaper than reproduction knobs.

And these knobs are genuine apothecary knobs. Pretty cool.

Yet another example of the creative and knowledgeable shoppers we meet in Florence all the time--and yet another example of how if you #FindItInFlorence the price and uniqueness of many items here beat what's in the online venues.

And I always offer all the folks featured in We Found YOU In Florence, Colorado, the opportunity to send a picture of their completed project done from items found here. And then I'll post it on the blog so all can see the clever ways folks come up with make antiques and collectibles a part of their home and life story. And even if I didn't find YOU in Florence and you want to share what you did with an an item found in Florence, fell free to send a few pictures and a brief description for possible inclusion on this blog to:

So, will we find YOU in Florence next?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Fremont Victory Quilters: Sewn With Love For Our Veterans

Most of us can agree that there is hardly a greater love and courage when a person is willing to lay down their life for their country.

And many quilters in Fremont County are showing a great love for our veterans.

Twice each month, quilters from Fremont County meet at the Elks Lodge in Florence to construct quilts for veterans, as part of the national Quilts Of Valor outreach, which also reaches out in Colorado. More information on that non-profit group is at:

Every time a quilt is sent to a veteran, the Fremont Victory Quilters send a letter to their vet. The veteran is unknown to them, but is invited to drop a note (if they wish) and tell the group a bit about themselves.

The part of the Fremont Victory Quilter letters that literally brought tears to my eyes is: "All of are of different faiths, have varied political beliefs and have strongly differing views on this war, but we united in agreement that our Service men and women should be treated with dignity and kindness. It is with this goal in mind that your quilt was created."

And these quilts are not just any quilts. They are practical and comforting--but also works of art as you can tell from the picture.

More information on the Fremont Victory Quilters is at Facebook:

If you want to see just a few of these lovely quilts, that will eventually be gifted to veterans, take a stroll to 109 W. Main St. in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado. There is a window display dedicated to these quilters and the veterans in honor of Armed Forces Day.

The Loralie Antique Mall and Boutique is a sponsor of the Fremont Victory Quilters. Loralie Harris, owner of the antique mall and boutique is a well-known textile designer and donates fabric.

And the mall has set up a donation jar at the mall. So feel free to donate some pocket change (or even a more significant cash gift) to the quilters, so they can keep on giving back to the veterans.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Florence, Colorado: What's Worth More? Bakelite Bracelet or Littonware Microvave Casserole..

Such fun. One can opine and guess what the trends in antiques and collectibles are. I work in an antiques mall, so I can see in real time what some of the trends are.

But it's much more entertaining to me to see what actually sells for more online to see what the trends really are.

So, what's worth more? A tested bakelite bangle bracelet with hand-painted flowers OR a four-quart Littonware microwave casserole? Huh? OK, I didn't even know what a Littonware microwave casserole was until I started digging deep to see what the current trends are. I was raised in the era where microwaves were some new-fangled things that were a Death Star in disguise. Sure, I use them--but with extreme caution and suspicion. And I never suspected older microwave cooking vessels were something that great.

So, let's start with the bracelet.

Pretty. Real bakelite. Hand painted flowers.

And now, the contender.

A four-quart Littonware mictowave casserole. I know nothing about microwave casseroles and even less about Littonware. But I'm guessing Littonware is circa 1970s or 80s. This puppy has a chip in it. The bracelet does not.

And which item is worth more?

The casserole of course. It sold for $45.

The bracelet, a mere $29.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Florence, Colorado: What's Worth More? Rubbermaid or 1900s Tin...

In the time of rapidly changing antiques and collectibles markets I thought it would be fun to do a, What's Worth More?, feature here.

As we all know, any object from the Mona Lisa to granny's linens are only worth monetarily what someone will pay for them.

OK, which of these two following items is worth more in today's current online market? Eventually I'll go into the brick and mortar stores and do comparatives on what's worth more.

This is a George W. Horner and Company Blue Boy, circa 1900, carriage ride tin. Obviously it is a true antique and over 100 years old. Is this nice antique item a winner? Or is it this item?

Yikes! What are they? Kinda blurry. It's set of vintage 1980s Rubbermaid slate blue ice cube trays. Back in the old days vintage was defined as 50 years or more old. Today it seems it is about 20 or so years. So is this set of flexible twisty ice cube trays the winner?

So--will an antique or a 1980s item win and be worth more?

Drum roll. And the winner is: The Rubbermaid ice cube trays sold for $14 for the set.

The 1900s tin sold for $12,50.


OK, you all know I like it when antiques, collectibles and vintage goodies all meld with a sense of humor.

And I can see the Flip Sisters are having some fun!

Now that is dedication!

I happen to have a soft spot in my heart for dumpster diving. Not that I've ever done it. One reason is I'd probably get stuck in the darn thing with all my creaky bones. But one day when my husband and I were coming out of Hobby Lobby he saw a dumpster that called his name. The only thing I heard calling my name, was a voice telling me to be the lookout for the cops or Hobby Lobby employees.

Turns out that dumpster dive netted us a vintage fishing creel that netted us nearly $100.

But I digress, because the really exciting news here is that on May 19, 20 and 21 starting at 10 a.m. the Flip Sisters Vintage Market will kick off at the Cliff's Edge on 103 Main St. in Westcliffe.

The market will also be happening again from July 1 to the 4th.

Now being the inquisitive person that I am--I've been to Country Woods Designs Facebook page at:

Be prepared to be amazed and awed!

And if you want to be inspired with world-class interior joy again, go to: www,

I imagine their repurposed items are just the tip of the iceberg and people attending the Flip Sisters Vintage Market will be thrilled!

See, there's talent all over southern Colorado--and it's always my pleasure to highlight it even when it's a few scenic miles down the road from Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado.

Florence, Colorado: Current Antiques & Collectibles Trends

In the last blog post we covered a little of what Japanese antiques dealers are taking back to Japan and the trends that seem popular with them.

Anyone who can predict antiques and collectibles trends with amazing accuracy is someone I admire. Because it is difficult. As we joke around the antiques store, when someone knows what the trend is, it will change.

So, here's my observations on trends--not based on any expertise, but simply observing what dealers from Colorado and around the country are buying for their stores--and watching what customers are buying for their own homes and gifts. And occasionally sneaking a peek of what people are buying on the internet.

First, the general trend among customers that are buying for themselves is usually they are buying something that supports one of their passions. You can see that trend in my Will We Find YOU in Florence posts that highlight what people are buying in Florence and what they plan to do with it. We've had people who are buying old tools and supplies to go off the grid. People are buying practical items that can be used. Maybe the items won't be used for their original purposes, but they will be used--not just collected

I've noticed most antiques stores (at least in Florence) sell a significant amount of old windows and doors.

Photographers use them for picture frames and do-it-yourselfers cover the frames with chicken wire and hang kitchen utensils.

Primitives has been strong and are continuing. But not some primitives. Things like glass butter churns, sifters and pre-1940s kitchen utensils have been decreasing in popularity. Of course there are exceptions. When I mention trends, I am talking about the low to mid-grade areas of collecting and purchasing. Things like fairly common canning jars, etc. are a slow sell. But a rare fruit jar--that's another story.

Example: The flour sifters with the formerly popular red and green handles are lagging. Selling online or even in brick and mortar stores for about $8 to $15 and slowly. Very slowly. But a 1950s flour sifter with a picture of a woman in her kitchen on it--selling briskly for $30 to $50 each.

The typical pioneer type kitchen things are a little less popular right now--at least here.

But here's what's hot. Dough bowls. And we have several in Florence. With stands. And we've sold a lot recently. The pictures of antiques and collectibles I'm showing are not of specific ones in Florence, but similar. Stock changes quickly.

And hay trolleys. I honestly didn't know what a hay trolley was until I came to work in Florence's antiques district. Trolleys are hot, because customers are telling me they are turning them into lighting fixtures. Pinterest has a lot to do with driving trends. Customers see it on Pinterest and then want to make their own decorating statement. And customers are also telling me that the prices in Florence on items such as hay trolleys and huge dough bowls (even without the shipping) is way lower in Florence.

I have a personal like (and collection) of Victorian items. Long live the Queen! But that isn't the hottest trend right now--at least among lower end collectors like me and my friend. We chuckle and say there is more left over for us--at great prices.

But at least in the mall I work in, there is an exception. Victorian era silverware and utensils.

But we have at least one dealer in Florence that has a steady supply of silverplate beauties at very nice prices.

Advertising items and signs in the lower price ranges sell well--but not as well as in years past.

And anything to do with fishing and cars. Well!

Whenever we get the 1958 Colorado license plates in--they ski right out the door. As well as a lot of our matched plates from the 20s and 30s.

Now, let's get to the trends that are surprising me. I talk to a lot of local dealers and ones from across the country. But let me make it clear, we are not talking about Stickley furniture or rare Van Briggle. The market for those items I imagine will always remain strong. We have all noted that American oak furniture and pottery such as Hall, McCoy and Roseville have generally decreased in price. It sells, but very slowly and at prices sometimes half of what they sold for a decade or so ago. Depression glass, Jewel Tea collecibles, etc. same story. Again--there are always exceptions.

People often bring items to the stores to sell directly to dealers and when people are told that grandma's china, clear glass pieces or Depression ware are not worth much--they are surprised.

I've had a longtime doll dealer tell me there is always a market for the rarest of the rare--but antique dolls that would have sold in the mid-range years ago--barely register interest now.

I've always had a passion for old bowls. But I've noticed that the really old bowls aren't raising much interest. Pyrex bowls and containers are in. Melmac and Melamine bowls generally command higher prices than Jewel Tea bowls and such.

The trend towards the 1960s and even 1970s and 80s kitchens are starting to really trend.

I'm not exactly sure why the Depression era and pioneer era kitchen items are lagging and things as new as the 1980s are just starting. I have a theory that people are attempting to outfit their kitchens in a way that reminds them of their childhoods. And almost no one is around that remembers being in the kitchen with mom during the pioneer times.

I was talking to one customer about the fact most women love bowls because it reminds them of licking the bowl or whipping up some from-scratch dessert with mom. And even in the less hectic 1960s and 70s and 80s when most of us where kids--we remember that was the one time when we chatted and had fun with our mothers without the distractions of TVs in the kitchen or cell phones ringing.

Yes, Pyrex is in. And vintage Tupperware. But the real surprise, to me at least, is that vintage Rubbernaid is even hotter right now than Tupperware.

Now this pictures is actually mine--from my own stash. Yes, these Rubbermaid measuring cups are popular.

In 1996 I was coming back from a road trip to Nebraska to visit my father. I stopped at a yard sale on a whim and for a few dollars I picked up several pieces of vintage Guardian Ware pots. I sold them at such a huge profit I was able to pay for our entire trip.

Still pretty and unique. But it sells for a fraction of what it did 20 years ago with the exception of a few pieces.

What's hot now is another type of aluminum ware.

Something like this aluminum pot will now pay for some of a road trip where Guardian Ware would only pay for an inexpensive lunch. Hot! Hot! Hot!

And bread boxes.

I've been cluing my husband into some of these trends because he likes to shop more than I do. I like to shop, but I'd rather talk to customers or write about antiques and collectibles.

I asked him today what he thought a NEW 1950s PINK and copper bread box would go for.

He answered," $150."

I complimented him on his guess as I snorted, "Try $450 sucka!!!"

You want to see the bread box that went for $450. Sure you do. And it's not mine. I guess I won't be going on any road trips to Nebraska or anywhere else for awhile since I have NO pink bread boxes.

Pink, Turquoise. Orange. Red. Trending my friends!

And avocado green (ick) and harvest gold and that slate blue from the 1980s is coming up. I'm sorry, but someone had to break it to people gently.

As I have always told people,"What you think is worth money probably isn't. And what you don't even think of--is probably worth money."  Hmmm. I usually just take a shot in the dark, but that time it turned out I was correct.

Maybe someday we'll do a feature on the blog called: What's Worth More? Yes, I think I'll do that. I like to shock the crud out of myself.

Did You Know Florence, Colorado Is Getting Popular With Japanese Antiques Dealers?

Did you this blog relishes the idea of digging up obscure happenings going on in Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado? Well, you know it now. So no excuses in not knowing a little of what is going on.

Did you know that Florence is gaining a bit of popularity with antiques dealers from Japan?

About a year ago a nice young Japanese man came into the antiques mall that I work at. He stood out because he was wearing a bathrobe. Oh, no--don't worry. He was wearing shoes and pants and a T-shirt also. His bathrobe was one of those cool ones--sort of plaid that was reminiscent of the 40s and 50s.

He had me open every locked case that had eyeglasses. He only knew a few words of English, which is great because my Japanese vocabulary is limited to sushi and a few other words that have nothing to do with antiques shopping.

But through patient slow speech on both our parts I understood that vintage eyeglasses were a hot commodity in Japan. I'm not talking cat eye glasses--I'm talking the Civil War era and turn-of-the century ones.

He had a shop in Tokyo, I believe. He said he did not really understand how American money worked, so I was glad he ended up in Florence where everyone was going to assist him honorably in that.

I asked him how he ended up in Florence. He said something about being in Denver and at the last minute realizing there was an antiques town he had to come to. He seemed to the thrilled and was literally running through the store scooping up eyeglass treasures.

I didn't think much of, except how nice and hip he was and how I had no idea Japanese antiques store owners would get so excited about a town they stumbled across.

I didn't think there was a trend brewing.

Fast forward to the present. I don't work that many days at the antiques mall, but I see a Japanese man in a bathrobe running through the store. Almost a year has passed since I had seen him. This time he understood American currency and knew a lot more English. He snapped up more eyeglasses and ran out of the store. We didn't get much time to talk, because anyone who has ever been to Florence knows it takes one to two full days to totally go through all the stores.

Again, I didn't think there was a trend until the other day when another Japanese man came in. His English was quite good and it turned out that he had an antiques stores in another major Japanese city. I told him another fellow antiques dealer and countryman had been in a few weeks earlier.

I noticed this man shopped the exact same way. With a mission. Walking briskly and almost running and knowing exactly what he wanted. And no haggling on prices. I love ALL our customers, but the gracious yet purposeful and fast shopping is so different than most dealers that come from many parts of the USA. The attitude conveyed by body language was that they were delighted to be here finding treasures at a fast clip and at prices that didn't merit dickering.

Now this Japanese antiques store owner was going a different route. I didn't take pictures of his actual purchases because I know when people from out of the country are wanting to cover all the ground they can quickly.

But here's some pictures from the Internet similar to what he was purchasing.

Yes, a Buddy Lee advertising doll.

And quite a few pieces of pottery banks and such that were not name brands, but had a sense of humor or whimsy.

And I got the impression the prices in Florence were very reasonable.

I had no idea of what the trends are in Japan. But I am learning from my customers.

And from other brief research I did, it seems many Japanese purchasers of antiques and vintage items are fascinated with Western themes and kitschy or whimsical items that are American made.

Well, all that and more is to be found in Florence. And who knew that Japanese antiques and collectible dealers are discovering Florence. Now we know.

So, what the trend from dealers from all over Colorado and other parts of the country? I'm not an authority on antiques trends--but in the next blog post I'll share what I observe through transactions with hundreds of customers.

Monday, May 1, 2017

#FindItInFlorence We Found Rocky Mountain Lace Guild Members In Florence, Colorado

Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado has rolled out its marketing campaign: #FindItInFlorence.

Though I have no connection to any organizations in Florence, I like to see who I can find in Florence and what THEY found in Florence.

Most blog readers know I like to pop out of nowhere and ask people what they found in Florence and what they plan to do with it. So far we've found extraordinary people from all over the state and world, shopping in our fair burg.

This time I found three members of the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild in Florence. They immediately honed in on a sterling silver tatting shuttle monogrammed with the letter M. They noted their might be a "fight" over the shuttle since both their last names started with M. I suggested that even though they had the upper arm strength with all that lace making, to arm wrestle for it that they might share it six months out of each year.

See the interesting things one can find in Florence? I didn't even know there were any antique tatting shuttles in the whole town, much less a sterling one. That ought to teach me--one can find almost ANYTHING in Florence.

I discovered these lace artists had stopped in Florence because they were in town for a lace retreat at the Abbey Events Complex in Canon City.

Members of the Rocky Mountain Lace Guild. Holding the shuttle is Laurie Masten. In the middle is Mary and on the left is Sandra Mapp.

More information about the guild is available at:

So we found these talented ladies discovering a treasure in Florence. Will we find YOU in Florence next? Tune in for future blog posts for more people we found in Florence. The next entry of We Found YOU in Florence will feature a mishap with a sharp dental instrument and a heartwarming story of folks working to rescue our furry friends.