Saturday, June 16, 2012

Joanne The Bottle Lady

Treasure Map Locations 12, 97, 131, 134 and 145 all belong to Joanne, aka The bottle Lady.

If you follow along with us on Facebook, you've seen a plethora of pics from those 5 locations in the past week or so. It's always so much fun to spend a day with Joanne, talking about the treasures she has for sale in her booths. Since she has been a professional antique dealer for so long, she always has such awesome finds, and she knows exactly what's what.

I asked Joanne how she was making out in this economy here at The Coop. It was very warming to hear her say with such pride, "I'm doing well. And that's because of the company. There's a lot of great dealers here. Other places don't have what we have."

And she's right. Scranberry Coop is a small business, a family owned Mom & Pop that's been right here in Andover New Jersey for decades. With our history, our spectacular community, and our awesome clientele, The Coop has obtained a family of dealers that even the other dealers are proud of.

While touring Scranberry Coop with Joanne to learn about the furniture and wares she currently has for sale, she can't help but point out some of the other booths that have impressed her.

"I'm never leaving," she laughs. And we're glad to hear that!

The Bottle Lady, also well known for her great inventory of antique furniture, has everything and anything you can think of from artwork, to brass frogs, to chrome sign letters. She has Victorian postcards, promotional thermometers, yellowware, Elvis memorabilia and electric bar signs.

When I asked her what's selling right now, what items are going good, she gestures towards the bottles.

"Colored glass. Wheaton." She picks out some different pieces to show me but not before pointing out the Step Back Book Case in Amy's booth.

Joanne brings up the Scranberry Coop First Sunday of the Month Flea Markets. She tells me about a girl that came and bought a very big, very pretty carved oak Victorian dresser for her mother for Mother's Day for $225.00. She acknowledges what a nice gift that was. Even after all these years and all the furniture and all the sales, she doesn't take it lightly. She is so excited for this girl to have been so thoughtful and generous toward her mother. "Can you imagine? A gift like that?" She nods in approval, obviously very moved by her conversation with that customer. "What a gift!"

As we talked more about the Flea Markets she mentions another flea market somewhere else, here she noted the organizers didn't enforce the sidewalk use ordinances. I guess some problems arose and that's always a bummer.

In contrast she talks about how The Coop's warm-weather monthly flea market is held in our own parking lot where we don't have to worry about those things. It's always great to hear that someone had a good time at our event, but it's almost like winning an award when a seasoned professional like Joanne reinforces what we're striving for: The Scranberry Coop shopping experience really is a cut above.

Joanne shows me some artwork, an old mason jar containing vintage glass marbles, and a great set of brass fireplace tools in a stand. The marbles can still be played with. The fireplace tools are still functional besides being attractive to display. She uses a squared yard stick with an advertising logo priced at only $10.00 to point out some of the pieces she has displayed up on the wall. I can't help but think I'd really use that measuring stick! But that goes for many of the items Joanne offers. They have that kind of cross appeal: lovely to look at, but also practical and useable.

She points out the guitars and clocks in another dealer's booth, paying compliments to his offerings and well as his musicianship. It really is like a family here. She is happy to share her interview with everyone else she knows here.

From the furniture finds to the cut crystal water pitcher, a lot of Joanne's inventory is comprised of old items that are still around because they're made so well. They're from a time when people took pride in what they crafted. And they were first purchased by people who viewed many of these wares as investments.

Even the decorative pieces are made to last, to be taken care of and handed down from generation to generation.

All of us here at Scranberry Coop are just crazy about Joanne. She knows everything about everything, she's been doing this forever, and she totally gets why it's infinitely cooler to buy "classic" over "new." She would bring success to any place she chose to set up shop. Joanne chooses to vend here with us.

Joanne has her friend Richard show me a great old Budweiser bar light. She insists it has to be plugged in, I have to see how nice it is when it's on. It's pretty cool unplugged. But once Richard plugs it in I understand what Joanne meant. As the sign lights up so does her smile. Joanne likes things that work, things that were made many decades ago to do a job, that they are still capable of doing. Plugged in, the fish on the beer bar light almost look alive. It's a completely different item when it's turned on.

So she smiles. And it's kind of a special lit-up smile because she's glad I'm seeing this. "Isn't that something, when it's lit up?"

"Yes. It really is!" I tell her.

Oh, and the Bud lamp is pretty awesome too. ;)

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