Though many small businesses would agree that being the only business in town would be a dream come true, that’s not the case for Country Antique Fair Mall.
“In the antique business, it’s always been the more the merrier,” owner Mac McClure said. “The more antique shops the better, because people like to go antiquing (at multiple locations).”
At one point, the Santa Clarita Valley was home to 13 antique shops, and now, Country Antique is the last.
“I think it’s the way we’re set up as a mall,” McClure said, adding that the 14,000-square-foot building, which they’ve been in since the beginning, has room for 125 different vendors. “We have all these individual people, rather than just a standalone antique shop and sole proprietorship.”
Country Antique is celebrating 40 years in business this month, and McClure’s son Jesse attributes their survival to the partnership between him and his father.
“In terms of age, his demographic is very much (looking for) your stereotypical antiques — your glassware and wood furniture — stuff that the younger generation would probably not have much interest in, as opposed to when I come in, it’s more vintage Americana,” Jesse said.
Though the textbook definition of antiques is about 100 years old, according to Jesse, there are also newer items, which are considered vintage or retro and interest a younger generation of customers.
“When you have that bridge that we offer something for all age groups, it’s more important for us,” Jesse added. “It’s about variety and (having) something for everyone.”
Each vendor has its own space, which is considered their own business.
“This is this person’s passion,” McClure said. “They set up their space with their own personality … and when something sells, something new comes in.”
Sonia and Jim Danner have been vendors since the 80s. “This was the first place we set up shop,” Jim said.
“And we’ve never really left,” Sonia added. “When we first started, it was more like a hobby … we didn’t know what the heck we’re doing, but we learned a lot … Then we got into the way of making money, and now, it’s a hobby (again) … but you know, this is home.”
With the exception of not allowing employees to make long-distance calls on the landline and making the coffee that used to cost 5 cents free, not many rules have changed over the years.
“We’ve been very fortunate because I think it keeps our identity,” McClure added. “That’s one of the things nowadays that’s hard in business because you got to keep up … so we’ve been able to do that and people just love it.”
Being in business for 40 years also means that they now have a generational customer base.
“We have customers that have been coming in 20 or 30 years,” he said, adding that now, those customer’s kids shop there, too.
Vendor Maria Allred is a second-generation antiquer and remembers going with her mom to find items.
“This is probably my favorite thing to do,” she said. “It’s a community, you make friends and everyone I’ve met is just so generous.”
Allred doesn’t believe you ever stop being a customer. “I still shop and get inspired by the other people.”
Country Antique Fair Mall is open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and is located at 21546 Golden Triangle Road in Saugus. For more information, call 661-254-1474 or visit countryantiquefairmall.com.