Friday, September 7, 2012

The Twists And Turns Of Life -

Twenty five years ago I was teaching high school mathematics.

If someone had told me I would be selling antiques after I retired I would never have believed them. But, as fate would have it we had a new home in a small New England town that needed to be furnished and my sister - a long time resident and antiques dealer - introduced me to a whole new world of antiques. It wasn't long before I was using a large portion of my new found retirement time selling some of my new found treasures on Ebay.

We attended an estate auction at one of the Bellevue Avenue mansions in Newport RI and I purchased a large set of antique Haviland Limoges china. I sold it piece by piece on Ebay and a good part of it to a lady in Texas named Dixie. I promptly learned all I could about this beautiful antique china and sought it out in my antiquing travels. Before long I found myself specializing in antique Haviland china and Holly Lane Antiques was born.

While participating in an Antiques Show in Southern California we met a lady who had a set of Haviland she wanted to sell. We visited her house and found it full of something she referred to as white ironstone - much of it also for sale. It was love at first site! The shapes of these pieces took me back to the Geometry I had been teaching and the floral embossed pieces soon became my favorites. They had been long time collectors and were finding it necessary to downsize. We had been advised at an Antiques Show that we needed to broaden our inventory - that specializing in just Haviland china would not be successful. So we did just that and went back to visit and purchase from her often.

I must admit that visitors to our booth at Antiques Shows often comment on the wide difference of our offerings - from the delicate pastels trimmed in gold of the antique Haviland China to the simplicity of the early English White Ironstone - from the china of the elite to the farmer's china. Add some early Transferware, Vintage Linens, Glass and Silver and that is now Holly Lane Antiques. No longer selling on Ebay, we now have our Ruby Lane Shop and participate in many Antiques Shows.

Last year while searching for something to make as a contribution to a local charity's Christmas boutique I decided to knit some baby hats. I had found something to occupy those long hours sitting at Antiques Shows and traveling to and from them. So I continued knitting baby hats - finding and adapting new patterns - and loving engaging my creative side. The patterns became more complicated to keep up with my newest ideas and the baby hats became more precious and fun.

Holly Lane Hand Knit Baby Hats became a reality on Etsy. I already had an Etsy Shop having tried to sell some of my antiques in its vintage area. With a few changes I became part of its hand made artisan area.

While visiting our daughter in Boston we became aware of the Sowa Open Markets and have been selling these special little hats there in the Sowa Artisan Market on the Sundays when we don't have an Antiques Show scheduled. I just love seeing peoples' reaction to them - I can say that few can walk by our booth without smiling.

Our Ruby Lane Shop is a wonderful place to sell our antiques as is Etsy for our baby hats. However, there is nothing like interaction with the people who also enjoy what you sell. Our Antiques Shows and Sowa provide that for us. We are continually searching for other places to sell our special baby hats and spent last Saturday on the Cape with the Sandwich Artisans. It was a wonderful day and we will return in early October.

So - This is our retirement - If I never would have believed I would be selling antiques - I really never would have believed I would be knitting and selling baby hats.

The Twists and Turns of life!

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