It was more than 28 years ago when Don & I sat down with my mom & stepfather to talk about opening an antiques shop together. We looked at lots of properties and eventually settled on a run down pre-Victorian rental property on Route 4 in Northwood. Don & I agreed to manage & live at the shop and our adventure began. We started as a weekend “barn sale” in the original 18 x 24′ barn. The next 28 years brought weddings, babies, renovations, additions, and a lot of personal growth. About 5 years ago, my mom decided that it was time to slow down a bit so Don & I bought my parents half of the business & property. My mom continued to occupy space in the shop and to work on the weekends (while we followed our kids to soccer fields and theatre productions). But time moves on and things change. My stepfather died a year and a half ago. My mom has been creating a new life and has decided that she’s ready to fully retire from our business venture.
I grew up antiquing with my mom. I remember visiting May Atkinson (a renowned dealer from Newburyport, MA) back the seventies and helping my mom select oil paintings for our antique colonial home. I remember taking my lunch to school in an antique Cottolene Lard tin instead of a run-of-the-mill lunch box. I remember babysitting my brothers while my mom served as president of our local historical society. I remember learning about Betty lamps, cast iron peels, dutch ovens, candle molds, flax wheels, linsey-woolsey coverlets, turkey red damask, sponge ware, and on and on.
Though I will miss seeing my mom every Saturday, she will still be my resource for all things old. And she will still be my mom. And she will still be the kick-ass antiques dealer & business women who helped me become a kick-ass antiques dealer & business woman. So here’s to you Carla Penfield! Much love and gratitude from your favorite daughter.
The end of an era. Carla’s presence in the shop will be missed.She is on to her new life so I guess you could say, “Out with the new, in with the old.” With the inventory changing all the time, the funky vintage clothing, groovy records, furniture, jewelry, dishes, and memorabilia that takes me back in time, I’m sure the shop will continue to be as shopping destination for curious shoppers and antique aficionados alike. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement, Carla.
Lois Hussey says
You’ve got a Wonderful Mom and so many Memories being in the same business together. So happy your business has taken off from day one with all her knowledge and everything she’s taught you, it’s completely successful and will continue. Glad to know you Colleen and glad to have met your greatest Mentor,God Bless her!!!!
So sweet–thanks, Lois!
Mike Haze says
Wonderful tribute! Cheers and kudos to Carla aka Mom. It sounds like you truly earned your stripes 🙂 Enjoy yourself and your muched deserves retirement!
Laurel Denison says
What a lovely tribute to your mom, Colleen! Thank you for sharing this most interesting story. I truly enjoy stopping by your amazing shop to see what new and unique items you have, and I always enjoy chatting with you & Don. You are two of the nicest people on the planet! Happy Mother’s Day this Sunday to both you and your mom!
Thanks so much, Laurel! See you soon!