Antique Vintage Collectables & Gifts to close in May
Date: 02/02/2018 12:00am
DeKALB – Leslie Ann Snyder, owner of Antiques Vintage Collectables & Gifts in downtown DeKalb, said it was not her decision to close the doors to her shop in May, but plans were in place for the building at 134 E. Lincoln Highway that’s housed her shop since 2014
“It’s sad to see another business close,” Snyder said. “There’s always one that’s closed or an empty storefront not being utilized, which is terribly sad for the downtown area.”
However, with her husband Paul’s pending retirement as a master electrician at Ideal Industries, the timing seemed fitting to close the shop and head for a warmer climate.
Snyder got into the resale business in 2011, and moved to her current downtown location in 2014, two properties east of the Cornerstone project. Once she leaves, Snyder said she was told the building will be refurbished as the new location for Dance Dimensions on 645 E. Lincoln Highway, which she thought was a little sad, since more downtown space will be used for nonretail purposes.
DeKalb Economic Development Planner Jason Michnick, however, said the business is a great concept and adds a healthy mix of business to the downtown area, because the area can’t thrive solely on retail and restaurants.
Snyder said she thought revitalization of downtown DeKalb, in the form of the Cornerstone and Plaza DeKalb redevelopments and the new Sundog IT, is all positive, but with work going on for all of these projects at the same time, small downtown businesses might be hurting with the perception that it isn’t business as usual.
Although most of the 25 dealers who sell antiques via her shop were not excited to hear the news that they’ll have to move their collectibles to another location, Steve Sihler of Sycamore said the decision works well for him, since he is just looking to sell a private collection of Texaco memorabilia and other collectibles.
“I don’t think I could have sustained a presence here much longer anyway,” Sihler said.
Other dealers, however, are having to go as far as Batavia to relocate their goods for sale, Snyder said. She added that Michnick has been offering assistance in helping dealers find new homes.
Originally from southern California, Snyder and her husband are planning to sell their house and move to Nevada or California. Having not lived in her home state for about 40 years, Snyder said it is a true dream to go back.
From there, the couple plan to buy a motor home and travel around the West Coast.
“We’re not even looking to buy a house,” Snyder said. “We just want to rent and have the freedom to go wherever we want, whenever we want.”
Although Snyder will be fine leaving Illinois’ sub-zero weather in her rearview mirror, it’s her friends that she will miss the most.
“Our friends mean a lot to us, but we’re all at an age where we’re all traveling,” she said.
In retrospect, Snyder said one of the most memorable times of year for her business was Corn Fest.
“A lot of dealers said it wasn’t good for them, but [Corn Fest] was one of the biggest days of the year for me,” Snyder said. “We had people in lines waiting to check out. I don’t know if it was for anything in particular, but we had swarms of people in here in Corn Fest.”
Snyder also remembered the grand opening of the adjoining room of her store, which doubled both her space and the number of dealers, as a highlight.
“All of the dealers were here helping customers, and it’s always a big party when the dealers are here,” she said.
The decision came in the midst of some serious transitions for downtown antique and home décor stores. Joyce Waters, owner of My Favorite Things, is planning to relocate her store in the back of Ducky’s Formal Wear on 250 E. Lincoln Highway. The new shop name will be Perchance and is planning to start selling by April.
The closing date for Antiques Vintage Collectables & Gifts is set for May 15, and clearance sales will begin in March. There also will be an auction for one of Snyder’s customers who is selling her estate June 16.
Snyder said she has no plans to open another store.
“I really enjoyed accomplishing my dream over the last seven years of wanting to own a retail and resale store,” Snyder said. “I don’t think it failed since we would still be going if two factors hadn’t come head, to head but I think it will work out.”