Alabama's Best Kept Shopping Secret

Priceless Antiques

antiques-flea-mall2For me, going to flea markets and antiques malls started as an interest and a curiosity. It gradually developed into a pastime then progressed into a hobby then into a full blown obsession. Despite the hectic schedule of being a full-time nurse and mother of two boys, I found myself spending hours on end in flea markets. It seemed like it was my therapy after a grueling week. It’s definitely cheaper than going to the Mall or a spa treatment or going to a psychiatrist !

Then, it finally happened ! My sister and I decided to rent a booth and become flea market antiques dealers! The decision was as natural as the ebbing of the tide, the setting and the rising of the sun and the cyclic changing of seasons. It was bound to happen…

Having visited numerous flea markets and antique malls, my sister and I chose Bama Flea Mall & Antiques Center because of the general atmosphere it offers — it’s clean & non-pretentious. The staff is friendly, honest and approachable. Where can you find a store where the staff announces over the speaker that the store hours is almost over and end the announcement with “I love y’all” (we love you too Barbie!)?

The other fellow dealers are friendly and always willing to extend a helping hand. It’s like one big family. As in every family, there are different members with different talents: each booth offers it’s own “specialty”. BAMA caters to people from all walks of life. They all have one thing in common — they are looking for a special something at a bargain to maybe keep for themselves or give as a gift to a child, a teacher or a friend. The possibilities are endless !

Through the years as a dealer, it has given me more than just an excuse to give my husband why I spend so much time in BAMA. The meticulous pricing and sorting of items and antiques in the booth, the thrill of checking my sales at the end of the day and of course the fulfillment of receiving a check, all these have taught me the value of a penny and the importance of honest, hard work. These values are also unconsciously instilled in my kids as when my 4-year-old son says “I’ll take care of this new toy so I can sell it later in the booth, then I can buy the Hotwheels car I saw last time Mommy brought me to BAMA.”

Now, that’s priceless !

by Chloe Harkins (Dealer 59)