Sharon started selling when she was in first grade, going door-to-door selling her homemade potholders. After Sharon was married and had kids, she graduated to garage sales, both as a buyer and a seller, taking her four kids in tow as she looked for bargains. Even in her own house, Sharon always space set aside to display price-tagged items in case a visitor wanted to buy.
The way back story is that Sharon was a nurse, both in intensive care units and then industrial nursing, which gave her the steady schedule that allowed her to open Little Ladies. She spent 13 years working two jobs: full-time as a nurse and full-time at the shop. Seven years ago, Sharon retired from nursing after 41 years and now just has one full time job working at the store.
Sharon’s son’s wife’s mother Angie (did you follow that connection – sounds a bit like the start of a riddle to me) is her trusty sidekick, having offered to cover the store for a couple of days in the early 90s when Sharon wanted to get away. Angie has been there ever since, putting in a few days a week and designing the window displays. I walk by those windows everyday on my way to work and have bought items time and again. Sometimes wonderful, like the antique napkins I made into a baby quilt and sometimes wonderfully awful, like the turquoise fish lamp I gave as a white elephant gift.
Little Ladies does not try to be a high-end antiques shop, Sharon likes to keep it fun and accessible, providing affordable items that are great for party decorations or memorable gifts. Many of her items are from a period when “Made in America” was the norm. She was also light years ahead of the recycling boom and provides worthwhile period pieces that deliver a punch of character into any setting.
The coffeepot is always on at the shop and there are often cookies, so both the “pickers,” the professional shoppers that make the garage sale circuits looking for items that are priced low enough to be bought and resold, and the customers tend to linger a bit. “It’s like having a bar without having a bar,” said Sharon. “People can come in and enjoy being here. Even if I am having a tough day, the more I talk to people, the better I feel.”