The Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show is two weeks away and we are in full planning mode! In anticipation for our 10th Anniversary fall show on September 30 and October 1, we have been getting to know some of our dealers and the story behind their passions for antiquing. In this week’s Dealer Spotlight, we are spending time with Elizabeth Maxwell to learn more about her and her mother, Julia’s, antique business. Read below to hear the incredible story of how this mother-daughter duo created a family business from their love of antiques.
How did you and your mother catch the antiquing bug?
At a flea market in Manchester Beach in 1972, my mother, Julia Maxwell, bought a handful of silver plates. That one little purchase ended up being pivotal to the beginning of our antiquing business. My grandfather, Kendric, would go to thrift stores and pick up odds and ends, shine them up, and put them in this big buffet drawer in the dining room. Sure enough, some of the patterns matched my mother’s recent purchases at the flea market, and thus began my mother and grandmother's collecting of American silver plates!
How did this passion for collecting turn into a family business?
To support herself, her children, and her education goals, my mother started to sell at the Alameda Flea Market. At the Flea Market, dealers started to frequent our space and become regular customers. However, my mother soon discovered that dealers she sold to were selling her items at significantly higher prices and she thought to herself, "I'm at the wrong end of this." So, Julia started to do antique shows as a vendor! That year I was 12 turning 13, and Julia has been dealing antique and collectible flatware and hollowware ever since!
How did your mom’s passion for antiques influence you?
I grew up surrounded by antiques. History and historical objects always fascinated me, as do beautiful things that enhance our living environments. I suppose it also helps that of my mother's three children, I am the only one interested in antiques and who likes polishing silver! My main focus and passion has always been my family and continuing the family business fits in nicely with this goal.
How is it working with Julia in the antiques business?
It is especially wonderful to work with, and spend so much time with, my mother, Julia. She always says she does not know what she would do without me and I say the exact same thing about her! My mother often says, "I want to die at a show with a spoon in my hand saying, "Not a penny less than $7.50!'" As her daughter and colleague, I hope to help her achieve that goal, but not for many more years to come!
What kinds of unique items can we expect to see at the upcoming Three Speckled Hens Show?
Whether your decorative taste is Victorian, Art Deco, Craftsman, Art Nouveau, Beaux Arts, Modern, or Mid-Century, there is a pattern to reflect your design preference! From a serrated silver-plated grapefruit spoon from the 50s to a stuffing spoon in sterling silver, and everything in between, we’re your girls! It is a genuine pleasure to help our customers find that sought after and hard-to-find treasure that finishes their collection!
Check out Julia C. Maxwell Silver Pattern Matching at booth #122 during the fall Three Speckled Hens Antiques and Old Stuff Show and get to know this incredible mother-daughter team in person! As we count the days to our 10th Anniversary fall show on September 30 and October 1, keep checking in for more Dealer Spotlights and Facebook giveaways!