CORNELIUS – Hidden treasures abound at Oak Street Mill Antiques and Collectibles. From military uniforms to typewriters, china dishes to china cabinets, the place is stocked with items for display or everyday use.
Valentine’s Day weekend, the antique store celebrates its 15th anniversary of providing customers a place to bring nostalgia home.
When talking about the success of the business, owner Nan Fabio attributes a lot to the store’s aesthetics and friendly staff. It’s located in one of the town’s oldest buildings, which previously served as a cotton mill. With its wooden floors and high ceilings, the building’s openness provides a great backdrop for all of the displays.
“People come in and say what a lovely place to shop,” Fabio said. “I think it’s the music, it’s clean, and they can see something different every time they come in.”
The 10,000-square foot building houses items from 50 area dealers with a wide range of interests. But 75 percent of their wares have to be older than the 1960s.
The dealers keep up with the trends, aware people aren’t looking to add to their antique collections as they were in the 1980s and 1990s, but complement what they have.
“Truthfully, you can’t really get the true antiques of more than 100 years,” Fabio said. “What’s good about this is you can see a mix of the new with the old and it works beautifully.”
Customers come in looking for specific items for weddings or themed parties or décor for apartments.
Currently, a trend is to have industrial items such as metal work or primitive objects showing their age. Other offerings include porcelain, furniture, art, lamps, dish sets and vintage clothing.
With ever-changing product, Fabio said the store has become a destination, with people returning regularly.
A retired teacher, Fabio didn’t get “hit by the bug” until after a few antiquing trips with friends, she said. Now she gets a thrill from finding a great piece with a story.
“I’m fascinated by the history of something,” she said.