Thursday, December 23, 2010
Store moves to square
By ANNE KAZMIERCZAK
There’s a new — or is it old? — business on the Iola square.
Brooklyn Park antiques and flea market has opened up shop at 3 N. Jefferson Ave.
Melinda Luttrell, owner, seized an opportunity when the building became available recently, she said.
She had established Brooklyn Park in 1994 at the corner of Kentucky and Madison avenues, but “the building at that location needed too much work to maintain,” and she closed its doors several years ago, she said.
Work on the front of the new location, done by her father, Don Britt, and Iola artisan Jim Smith, allowed Luttrell to open in November, she said, although remodeling work went on even as vendors set up spaces within the store.
“We have more than 50 consignors in here,” Luttrell said of the reconfigured space. A center row of “cages,” — small wood-framed display areas — allows local crafters and vendors without too much to sell to “try their hand at retail,” Luttrell said. “I have several (vendors) who do crafts and they do really well,” Luttrell noted.
Luttrell intends further improvements to the building.
Smith and Britt will return to remodeling efforts, including painting the facade, once warmer weather returns, she said. “I wanted to do a lot more but didn’t have the time,” before cold weather set in, she said.
Inside, Luttrell had new flooring installed and removed old glass and cardboard from the front wall. “Jim Smith and my dad repaired the front of the building,” she said. “They insulated and rebuilt it.”
Antique display cases, including an old ice box from a former meat market, provide intriguing display space.
“We’ve brought in vendors clear up to the back door,” she said.
Items such as antique furniture — too large for the downtown space — will be housed in the building on Kentucky Street and offered online, through brooklynparksales.com, Luttrell said.
“We have original teller stations from Iola State Bank there,” she said by way of example.
Estate items are available both in the store and online, she said.
Luttrell plans to revamp the website to highlight new merchandise in coming months, she said.
Business is already booming, Luttrell said.
“I owe a lot to the vendors — they bring in quality merchandise at reasonable prices.”
One such is Linda Haeger of Topeka. With family in the Allen County area, Haeger said she enjoys coming to Iola to resell items she collects at flea markets and auctions in the Topeka area.
She has even stopped marketing her wares in Topeka “because this keeps me busy,” she said of the Iola store.
Brooklyn Park is open seven days a week. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and form 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.
The store can be reached at 228-7107 or email@example.com.