Snapshots of People at Work | Jill Evans helps house vintage vendors
When she dabbled in antiques, Jill Evans, 41, sometimes had a hard time finding a place to set up as a vendor. Eventually, she and partner Kelly McCall opened The Crazy Daisy Antique Mall (1430 Mellwood Ave., 560-1335, www.crazydaisyantiquemall.com) for vintage vendors.
: “I am still assessing that,” Evans said of their decision to open their small business in July 2007. “We saw a need in the market and
thought it would be fun. … We own the building and then we lease booth space.”
Crunching numbers: “We have 120 booths. We're 20,000 square feet. We're open seven days a week. We only close four days a year, so we're here a lot. … We do man the shop. Our vendors are not required to work. They just bring their items and price” them.
No longer vending: “We do not (have their own booths). We do not have time for that any longer.” Running the mall is “a little bit more tricky (than being a vendor) on a couple of fronts. On the business side, we have to attract local customers and we have to keep on top of our (out of town) visitors. … We (also) have to keep the business full. We try to keep all of our booth space rented.”
Perfect storm: If they “keep sales up, customers-wise, and keep the building full — that's kind of the perfect storm. As far as businesses go, we don't have an overhead. … Right now, we have enjoyed that for two years: lots of vendors and lots of traffic.”
Hitting the spot: “We're in that East Market-Frankfort Avenue corridor and we are very pleased. … We get so many young people and we think it's because we're located near the Highlands and near Crescent Hill that that happens. … We don't view other malls as competition, per se, because when people do this (shop for antiques), they want more; they want to go to all of them. So more is good, and we've always kind of lived by that philosophy.”
Give 'em what they want: “People like furniture and porcelain, silver, jewelry. We have an amazing vintage jewelry collection. The thing that most people comment about our mall is our price point. We have something for everyone. Kelly and I, we are middle class people (and) that's what we sell: we sell something for everyone.”
Classy middle: “We are not high end, but at the same time you will not find any socks in here — we are not a flea market. … We don't especially cater to boutique or retail-type items. We're more one of a kind, that's what we really like to see. And people always like to be reminded of their past and this is a way that people can be reminded of their past. And people like to recycle and reuse and this is the best form” of doing that.
Perpetual temptation: “I am my best customer. … I like vintage Christmas ornaments, that's been my latest thing. I sew, so I love vintage fabric. I love vintage coats. … I could go on and on.”
Up to this: “I have an advertising degree. I worked in ad sales some, and then I was a flight attendant. I worked for Delta for seven years. And then I got married and had children and was pretty much a stay-at-home mom. … Neither Kelly nor I have a business background, so it's been trial and error. But my husband (Ed Evans, a small-business owner “his whole life”) has been a very good support system. … Both of our husbands have been a great help.”
Ultimately: “I like it because it's a sense of accomplishment. I didn't really know if this was something that I could do and be successful. Kelly and I both, we both feel that we've built something on our own. … It's very gratifying. And we're sustaining it — I guess that's the best part.”
— Paula Burba