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Old Town shop is reflection of owner's love of collectibles

By: Gloria Young, Journal Staff Writer
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When Tina Wade leased her 3,000-square-foot space in Old Town, she wondered if she needed that much room. But, a year later, it is filled with antiques and collectibles “It is a mix of American and European finds,” she explained. “Many of my pieces are painted. I like to mix a rough piece and one that is more refined — a crystal chandelier is right at home with a farm table.” Wade’s Ever After is a reflection of her lifelong interest in old and unusual things. It became a business seven years ago when she took a booth at the Roseville Antique Trove. She spent a year there and then focused on selling her items through various stores and events. “Then I decided I wanted to do my own thing,” she said Monday. “I wanted my own pieces, my own flair and my own décor.” Wade often spends weekends browsing at flea markets and antique sales, always looking for the perfect find. “Almost everything I put in here, I love personally, but obviously I can’t keep all this,” she said. “It is a bittersweet thing when some of these pieces sell.” When she discovers something she likes, she often adds a personal touch. “I have two great old work benches,” she said. “They were definitely in a rough state. I’ve had to clean and repaint them.” When she ran across an old door that caught her eye, she put legs on it and a back that locks, turning it into a jewelry case. And she’s always on the lookout for trends. Vintage trophy cups and old chandeliers are big sellers right now, she said. “Industrial work is a popular style — things that come out of factories, garages, warehouses,” she added. “I have an old French wine rack that’s all metal.” Then there are old shopping carts from stores and mannequin dress forms from sewing factories. Wade also carries many garden items. “Garden stuff is very popular,” she said. “I have a 1940s porch swing and lots of metal garden furniture that have held up very well over the years.” The eclectic items had instant appeal for Juliet Hamilton, Auburn resident and schoolteacher, who discovered Wade’s merchandise at a flea market in Alameda. “She was one of my favorite booths,” Hamilton said. “I would go to Alameda just to see her. … When I saw her at a flea market in Auburn and she said she was opening a store, I was thrilled.” Hamilton is a flea market buff and searches them out everywhere she goes. “I’ve been to them in Paris and London, and (Wade) has got the finest stuff,” Hamilton said. “She’s just got a really good eye for architectural pieces. It is the ultimate in recycling. She gets stuff from old buildings that normally would have been thrown away and she uses them in a really cool way.” With Thanksgiving a week away, Wade is getting the shop ready for the Christmas season with a mix of old and new decorations. The display will include old-fashioned glass ornaments and some other vintage items. “The theme will be Christ-mas in the garden,” she said. She’s also coordinating with neighboring stores Casa and As Time Goes By for a holiday open house the weekend following Thanksgiving, featuring refreshments and unveiling Christmas-theme merchandise. Gloria Young can be reached at gloriay@goldcountrymedia.com or comment at Auburnjournal.com.