Located in the heart of Newhall on Main Street, the shop owned by Thomas Bayer aims to treat its customers with respect while helping them loan, buy or sell items.
To welcome in a new clientele, Abe’s on Main renovated a section of its store, partnered with local vendors and expanded its offerings to include antiques, collectibles and art.
“Several months ago, I was contacted by (Bayer) and he wanted to better utilize and attract a new venture for Main Street,” said Terry Sonntag, a facilitator for the store’s new venture who has known Bayer for more than 20 years. “He knew I had a background in antiques and he wanted me to come in and see if it made sense to try and repurpose half of the building into antique vendor areas.”
Sonntag—who has been in the antique business for more than 50 years as a business owner, antique vendor and certified accredited appraiser—decided the concept was a good idea and began working with Bayer to knock down a wall and create a space for local vendors.
“It opened the door, so to speak, and created this new area,” Sonntag said. “We thought we would have tenants that would come in and rent a small area. The store becomes their service counter so the vendors do not have to be here to handle any transactions.”
Through this concept, Abe’s on Main can welcome 16 to 18 unique antique vendors into its store to rent space and sell items during the shop’s normal business hours six days a week.
For people who have antiques or collectibles that want to sell, the only requirement is that they have a resale permit. Everything else is managed through the store,” Sonntag said. “I think this is a wonderful place to have a startup.”
Currently, Abe’s has eight vendors from the Santa Clarita Valley, Antelope Valley and San Fernando Valley; but, the shop is still looking for vendors that want to “give it a shot.”
“It’s their own inventory and they select their prices and what they’re willing to sell things for,” Sonntag said. “To me, it’s a very pleasant way of doing business because you don’t have to do set ups and swap meets and travel… It’s not that difficult when you take this approach.”
Through this new venture, Abe’s sells everything from vintage glassware and antique furniture to oil paintings and Disney memorabilia.
“We have a greater variety of items and we call ourselves antique, vintage, decorative, art and collectibles so those things are all here,” Sonntag said. “For somebody that had to get a present for someone and didn’t know what to get, they could come here and find something and really have a good time.”
Sonntag also plans to start hosting clinics and antique evaluations in the store during one day each week.
“I’m trying to dedicate one day a week for a certain number of hours where, if you have an item, bring it in and I’ll tell you the best I can,” said Sonntag, who has years of experience working as an appraiser. “It’s verbal to you and it’s no charge. It’s just a little extra service.”
As the antique vendor section of the shop grows, Sonntag hopes to hire a full-time employee to work the new side of the store and help support Abe’s into its next era along Main Street.
“They’ve passed the time test and they moved in the direction of Main Street thinking,” Sonntag said. “It’s a new approach to having a pawn shop and something that’s unrelated to that on the same foothold.”
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