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Showing posts with label #FindItInFlorence. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #FindItInFlorence. Show all posts

Monday, April 23, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Featured In Current Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine

It's finally happened! Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, is featured in the May/June issue of Colorado Life magazine.

For a sneak peek of the Florence article:

To read the entire article, one has to get a paper copy. Those are available at Big D Supermarket and Dollar General in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City. Plans are also underway to have Colorado Life magazines available for sale in many of Florence's antiques shops and other businesses.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Florence, Colorado: FUN ALERT! The Florence Consignment Corner Grand Reopening

There aren't many guarantees in life--but I can almost guarantee that going to the Florence Consignment Corner, is the most fun you'll have shopping and browsing in a long time.

I've been saying that Florence is the FUNkytown of Fremont County for years. No one believed me. But, aha, now I have real proof.

                                                    FUN MERCHANDISE? HECK, YEAH!

Many folks visited the Florence Consignment Corner during the past year, when it was located in the old NAPA building on Main St. It was fun the past year--but now FCC has a bigger location,  at 118 W. Main St. in the old Tru Value Building.

So there is more room for fun merchandise. FCC has been open in the new location since March 1 and on Saturday, March 31, will have its grand reopening from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Yes, there will be door prize drawings.

                                                 GRAND REOPENING DOOR PRIZES

That's just a small sampling of the door prizes. Many of the FCC vendors will be donating FUN items for the drawings. I heard a rumor that one vendor donated a basket of nostalgic candy for the drawing--and there just might be some wax candy lips and other outrageously fun items in the basket.

There will be free refreshments and snacks--while they last. And there will be free fresh homemade fudge samples. In case you missed it, here's a link to a recent blog post about the fudge:

                                               NORRIS YOUNGS SERVING UP FUDGE AT FCC

OK, I know all of you that can make it, will attend the grand reopening this Saturday. But those of you who can't...I know you'll make it to FCC as soon as you can. But in the meantime, lets take a blog tour of this store. FCC already attracts lots of local shoppers and browsers, but I'm fairly certain that FCC will also be even more widely known as a tourist destination.

I'll let you judge why that might be so. But my opinion is: I've never seen a store that has such a wide variety of EVERYTHING! Most of us have been to antiques malls. FCC is not an antiques store, but has lots of antiques and collectibles. It's not an indoor flea market, but it has practical tools and household items, without being junky. It has packaged food items and candy. It has artwork and handcrafts.

OK, enough! It would take less time to list what they don't have. Let's have some fun on our tour, which barely scratches the surface of this fun emporium.

Hands down (or up) the funnest chair ever. Just make sure you aim your descent correctly or you might get a surprise.

FCC co-owner Donny Hakes checks out a giraffe.

FCC has a great offering of Watkins products from toiletries, cleaning supplies to spices. Imagine this. You can purchase some Watkins spices.

Get cooking on some quality cast iron cookware and...

Then cook it all up vintage style on this cook stove.

Speaking of yummy things...This is one of my favorite booths in FCC. These vendors from Walsenburg have some great Colorado bread and cookie mixes. We purchased some to include in a gift basket for a charity event (in Denver) to highlight all the diversity of goods and businesses in southern Colorado to our neighbors to the north.

Cool antiques--and is that the famous kitchen sink next to the gasoline sign? I will spare you all--and not make any jokes about the FCC having everything including the kitchen sink. Wait, that's a bathroom sink--so we are all safe. But they do have kitchen sinks too.

And they have a basket of Betty Boops. Not just anyone can claim that!

And absolutely gorgeous artwork to fit any budget or decor.

I want y'all to check out Florence Consignment Corner's Facebook page at: Notice it says, find almost anything. True. True of FCC and Florence in general.

Thanks to Donny and Molly Hakes, co-owners of FCC, who gave me permission to use a few of their photos for this post. Some of the photos used were taken by me--but their photos are better.

And don't forget the grand reopening March 31 at 118 W. Main St.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Florence, Colorado: LIFE IS BETTER WITH FUDGE!

I've been stalking, I mean visiting, one of Florence's newest fun offerings: The Mountain Fudgery.

It started out with free samples, which Sandi and Norris Youngs of the fudge business, are always happy to hand out. Then, of course, I've been known to lay down a few greenbacks for the delight of eating fresh, homemade fudge.

I haven't tried  all the many flavors yet. But don't worry. I will! So far they are all scrumptious--but the Lemon Meringue has my taste buds and heart all aflutter.

                                                  Sandi Norris of The Mountain Fudgery

All the fudge is made with fresh cream and butter. Ah, but they had me at fudge.

I asked Sandi recently to tell me either something heartwarming or funny about fudge.

She came up with something better and said, "Life is better with fudge!"

I have to agree with her.

Sandi and her husband, Norris, can be found at Florence Consignment Corner, mainly on the weekends--passing out free samples, smiles and selling their fudge.

The Florence Consignment Corner, at 118 W. Main St. (in the old Tru Value building) is celebrating its grand reopening Saturday, March 31 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sandy and Norris will be there, as well as many other purveyors of fine goods. But more about that in another blog post.

For now, we are simply celebrating fudge. And how life is better with fudge!

Monday, March 5, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival

Ya'll don't have to hit me over the noggin to realize that there is a lot of interest in the upcoming Steampunk Festival. I've seen the hits this week and last for posts I made last year about Florence's Escape In Time To Steampunk And Wine Festival.

But, alas, I've been naughty (and busy) and haven't posted about this year's festival yet. But seeing everyone reading the past posts made me get into gear. Pun intended.

Plans are still being made--but this year's Steampunk Festival has no entrance fee, as it did in year's past.

One reader, with an upcoming wedding, was curious if there was a steampunk wedding feature like last year. I am not sure--but I'll talk to the festival organizer and find out.

I do know that year's event (the 4th annual) promises to be bigger, better and even more fun than previous ones. I know it's hard to believe since the other festivals were big hits--but this time around the Salida Circus will be performing. And the Fonda Cash Band  featuring Johnny Cash's niece should rev the fun factor up.

Stay tuned! And make sure to check out the Steampunk Facebook page at:

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Florence, Colorado: Is A Hip Antiques Capital & That Ain't No PULP Fiction

I've always considered Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, a beacon of hippery. But I'm old enough to break a hip in a geriatric slip-and-fall and make up questionable words like hippery to amuse myself.

So, I was sitting on my aging keister today at my workplace--The Loralie Antiques Mall at 109 W. Main St. Now, I usually don't admit where I work publicly. NOT because I am ashamed of this fine business--but, alas, I am a bit of a loose canon and don't wish to reflect poorly on such a fine establishment.

Anyway, the manager of the Loralie and I were sitting, ahem, working, and talking about the upcoming car show in May (that is tripling in size from last year) a battle of the bands event coming to Florence and the Steampunk Festival. I was clacking my claws together and exclaiming that our fair burg is finally getting on the map for some pretty awesome events. Actually we were talking about even MORE awesome upcoming events, but I have to work tomorrow and don't have time to list them all.

We were talking about what a fantastic, hip place Florence is. We have great eateries. A new East Indian/Nepalese restaurant opening soon--and on and on. Two new shops just opened. And these events help get out-of-towners to see what we see every day.

And almost the moment we were done getting excited about all these interesting things--right on cue, three young people burst through our door. One had a video camera. They asked if it was OK if they taped. They were so enthused, I said yes, before I totally understood what was going on.

And what was going on was pretty tasty if you ask me. They asked if I had heard of PULP. Of course I have! As the person in the running for the nosiest, um, I mean most inquisitive person in Florence, I know about most media in southern Colorado. And Pulp is a weekly newsmagazine with an edge and objectivity that I've enjoyed every time I go to Pueblo.

Seems PULP is expanding its social media reach for the 18 to 30 crowd, through its Facebook page at: with a new feature entitled, TWIST.

And Florence was chosen as the first subject for, TWIST.

 From l to r: Shanice Penn(co-host); Jordan Cushman (co-host) and Keelan Bailey (cameraman/producer)

Co-hosts of the new PULP-sponsored, TWIST, Shanice Penn and Jordan Cushman; and cameraman Keelan Bailey explained the challenge was for the co-hosts to visit Florence and to find an unusual antique item (for under $25) and having NO idea what the item was. The person who found the most unusual I-don't-know-what-the-heck-it-is item, won. Won what, I have no idea. But I'm all for reverse scavenger hunts that thrill people. And I guess we'll all have to tune into the TWIST at the Facebook page (scheduled for March 6) and see what they won and see more about their adventure in Florence.

Well, I know in part what they won. One heck of a fun time. A customer came up to the counter after they left and said she'd seen them in another store and they were having a blast.

Shanice, Jordan and Keelan all said they were having a great time in Florence and had visited The Pour House Coffee Shop--and thought it was one of the most interesting places with its coffee roaster. True!

I hate to ruin the surprise since Shanice had me hide the tag in the bag for her purchase, since she couldn't know what it was at this time. It's a blow torch! Whew hoo! Great pick on Shanice's part , because all them were on fire, not only with enthusiasm for this new project, but with being true professionals so early in their careers.

And that dear readers is a case of serendipity. We happen to be sitting around the antiques mall saying that Florence is a beacon of hippery, chockful of really remarkable things, people, festivals, eateries, art and culture--and then these young folks show up unannounced and confirm we were correct.

You can learn more about PULP at:

Florence,Colorado: Slated For the May/June Issue Of Colorado Life Magazine

Most savvy antiques shoppers know Florence is the antiques capital of Colorado. But soon the town will be getting even more exposure with a story and photo spread, slated for the May/June issue of Colorado Life Magazine.

"For years now, we've heard the buzz about Florence being the Antiques Capital of Colorado, so we decided to see if that was the case. After visiting, I can confidently say that the rumors are true," said Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine.

Colorado Life Magazine, with headquarters in Estes Park, has about 80,000 readers and while its main reach is in Colorado, the magazine also has subscribers all across the country and world. The magazine is available at Big D  Supermarket in Florence, as well as Safeway and City Market in Canon City.

Masich visited Florence in December of 2017 and other magazine staff members visited Florence last May.

    Matt Masich, editor of Colorado Life Magazine and Rena Pryor, manager of Loralie Antique Mall

"I travel Colorado for a living, and I've seen a lot of Main Streets in a lot of small towns. I've got to say that I was impressed with just how vibrant downtown Florence is," the editor said.

Colorado Life Magazine features world-class photography and writing, and judging by many of the magazine's Letters To The Editor, the magazine hits the goal of uncovering hidden treasures,experiences and history in Colorado, that surprise and delight even long-time Colorado residents. The magazine's website is:

Front row: Joshua Hardin,Colorado Life photo editor and photographer; Lisa Hutchins, Colorado Life 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, former co-owner of Fox Den Of Antiquity and pioneer in Florence's Antiques Capital Of Colorado status.

Masich toured many of Florence's shops as he interviewed business owners and did some browsing. "I talked with a bunch of the antiques shop owners. At Oil City Merchants, I very nearly purchased an antique billy club for my 5-year-old son, Charlie. I sent my wife a text message about it first, though, and she nixed the idea." Masich said.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Florence, Colorado: Does Your Town Have An Unofficial Canine Mascot?

Does your town have an unofficial canine town mascot?

Well it should. In Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, having our mascot, Molly, is rather like having a town therapy dog.

Almost every day, Molly comes into all the antiques shops (about 20) and other businesses, just to say hello.

People stop her on the street, too, and give her lots of love.

That's Molly, a six-year-old, Lab mix, getting a petting.

I usually give Molly some wicked good belly rubs. But what she really likes when she comes in the antiques mall where I work is seaweed. Yes, organic roasted seaweed. 

I love watching her face when she recognizes the "seaweed" lady and dashes to get her treat. You'd think all dogs would love seaweed, but mine does not.

But this is my dog, Phineas. Yes, in real life. That's not a stock picture. It's him dressed as a devil. He's so finicky that seaweed is beneath him. And he makes me go to Costco to get his favorite brand of dog biscuits, since nothing else will do.

Molly will eat anything (healthy of course) and is always grateful.

And don't tell anyone, but I feed all the dogs (after getting their owner's permission) that come into the antiques mall.

You can imagine Phineas' face when I come home from work and he finds out I've been "cheating" on him all day at work.

#FindItInFlorence: Colorado Life Magazine Editor Matt Masich & Rena Pryor

One of my hobbies is roaming the streets of Florence--the antiques capital of Colorado, with my $19 un-smart phone clutched in my sweaty paw and snapping pictures of what is going on in our fair burg.

Someone came up with the hashtag: #FindItInFlorence. The idea was to showcase all the interesting things to be found in Florence, such as antiques, art , eateries and history.

But I enjoy stalking, um, I mean finding people in Florence and finding out what they are doing in town and/or what they plan to do with their purchases.

Well on Dec. 22, I found the editor of Colorado Life magazine in Florence.

That's editor Matt Masich with Rena Pryor. Rena is the manager of The Loralie Antiques Mall and a tireless volunteer at the Bell Tower Cultural Center. She is also enthusiastic about the future of Florence's antiques, art and cultural scenes. Can't you tell by the picture?

I telepathically communicated to her that I promised I would NOT hide a Whoopee Cushion on her chair in the antiques mall, if she'd smile for the camera.

Then I snapped this picture. Ah,that's better, Rena.

And here's Matt with Mayor Keith Ore, at the Aspen Leaf Bakery and Cafe, chatting about Florence.

We enjoyed visiting with Matt and welcoming him to our quirky little town.

I've been a fan and subscriber of Colorado Life magazine long before Florence was privileged to have two visits from the magazine's staff.  You can read a previous blog post about the magazine here:

And you can read about the visit we enjoyed last May from Colorado Life magazine staff here:

Florence, Colorado: Good Place To Buy A Gift For Your Friend With A Castle

I have nothing against big box stores, but there are things that happen in small, independent stores (especially antiques stores) that just won't happen anywhere else.

We're always chatting with our customers at the old antiques mall in Florence, because all the unusual things people buy just beg inquiries as to why they are buying it.

Today Dan Williams of Cripple Creek was thrilled to find this iron hanging candle fixture. He said it will look perfect in his friend's castle.

Castle? Ohhh, I love castles.

Dan said his friend built a castle outside of Cripple Creek and when the friend was asked why he chose a castle instead of a log cabin or other style, the friend replied,"Because I can."

I asked if this was a Christmas gift for the friend with the castle.

Dan said it was and the friend already told him that he had found Dan a special Christmas gift. Dan said he replied to his friend,"Then you must have come to Florence."

That's what we like to hear, the immediate assumption that if someone found a special treasure, they must have found it in Florence, and friends each coming to Florence to find those extraordinarily unusual gifts.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Florence, Colorado: #IFoundYouInFlorenceColorado Artisian Marsha Bell of Canon City

Who did I find in Florence, the antiques capital of Colorado, this time? Florence has a campaign, #FindItInFlorence, designed to showcase all the things one can find in Florence. On this blog, I also highlight who I  find in Florence and what they are doing with the things they find in Florence. I think you'll agree, many people who come to Florence have interesting dreams, goals, hobbies and memories they seek to celebrate with objects found in Florence.

                                                         Marsha Bell Of Canon City

This time I found Marsha Bell of Canon City in Florence. She's holding a miniature cowboy hat and a pair of cowboy boots.

Of course, we couldn't resist asking her what she planned on doing with her purchase.

Marsha said she's been fascinated with miniatures since childhood. But this Canon City artisan isn't just content with arranging and collecting miniatures in an ordinary fashion.

"I arrange antique miniatures in unique antique containers," she said.

She uses antique radios, televisions, refrigerators and other vintage items as the showcase or framework for works of art.

                                                         Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

Marsha gave a vintage TV (pictured above) new life by creating a magical scene of a North Pole bakery.

"I purchase many of the items I use, in Florence," Marsha said.

Also a registered nurse at St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, and an instructor at CNA classes in Florence, Marsha estimates she puts at least 50 plus hours into each creation.

Her nostalgic vignettes aren't for sale, but Marsha has been entering her work at the Pueblo State Fair for about five years. She's won several Best Of Show ribbons and earned three first place ribbons.

                                                        Photo courtesy of Marsha Bell

The scene of a Victorian Christmas, framed by part of an antique icebox, won Marsha a Best of Show award at the fair.

Marsha is inspired by a variety of themes for her art work, but primarily concentrates on Christmas scenes. "This all started from a memory of me as a child looking down a banister at Christmas..."she recalled.

The magical memories of her childhood Christmases are celebrated and honored every time she goes on a search for new miniatures and antique backdrops.

I'm just glad, even though Marsha doesn't sell her work, that she chooses to share her love of good memories, antiques and miniatures with everyone by displaying at the fair, and readily sharing her story with us in Florence.

What is Marsha's newest project that she was in Florence hunting for miniatures last week?

She'll be working on a barn scene (complete with that cute hat and cowboy boots) set in an antique school desk.

I'm hoping when the antique school desk is completed we'll get a picture to share on the blog. We always love seeing all the fascinating things fascinating people do with the treasures they find in Florence!

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 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 2, 2017

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.