Monday, October 31, 2011

In The Spotlight

                     Pickers & Peddlers

I’m excited to have this opportunity to introduce myself, Edie Bennett, my family and my new venture, Pickers & Peddlers in Heritage Village especially since this area played a part in my husband, Burt’s family history. My father-in-law, Hallie Bennett was born in a house on Citrus Avenue so our family will have another beginning there!

Burt’s very proud of his Citrus County heritage which began when his family came to this area in the 1830’s. His love of this community runs as deep as his roots which is something he’s impressed upon our children: Colleen, 25, Ben, 24, Jake, 21 and Luke, 18. Ben is married to Betsy and they have a 4 year old daughter, Brooke.

Even though Pickers & Peddlers will open on November 12, it's been taking shape for the last 25 years or so. I’ve always loved the hunt for treasures. Of course Burt didn’t always think of it the same way. He once said if our furniture didn’t wiggle or wobble, we wouldn’t own it! It really doesn’t do either, but our home does have character.

The hunt started in antique stores, then moved onto auctions, tag sales and then my favorite, thrift shops. My kids moaned and groaned as I took them on my adventures but all of them have inherited an eye for things with character. My one rule was we always used everything we bought; we didn’t buy things to just look at. With my eclectic tastes, I’ve started so many collections through the years. One family favorite is old wool plaid stadium blankets or throw. A large old woven laundry basket filled with them sits in my living room and it’s a pretty common sight to see someone curled up with one on the sofa or in a chair.

When my daughter was young, she swore she would never own old things but when she bought her cracker house on Lake Tsala Apopka, she filled it the antiques, vintage and repurposed furniture and items. This past summer, Colleen and I took drove to rural western New York to visit instead of flying because I needed to bring home some things I “picked” during my last trip there. We made it as far as West Virginia before we stopped at our first thrift shop and after 10 days of scouring back road shops, estate & tag sales and a huge antique flea market twice, we didn’t have enough room in Colleen’s Honda Civic for our purchases. So to bring everything home, we had to have a hitch installed on her car and rent a u-haul! We brought home tables, chairs, signs, dishes, a desk, lamps, a wagon, linens and many more things. We hope to make it our annual girl’s trip, but I’m worried our car and trailer will have to continue to get bigger with all the small rural towns and out of the way places we’ve found to “pick.”

So now you know how Pickers & Peddlers was born by too many shopping trips finding wonderful things that my garage & house were bursting at the seams so it was time to share those treasures. The last few weeks have been a family affair as we prepare to open. My future son-in-law, Rob Philpot is a partner. The boys and Betsy have painted. Betsy kept me in-line when I became distracted. Colleen made our flyers and contributed many of her purchases to our inventory.

As November 12 fast approaches, I'm really looking forward to sharing my love of the hunt with you. Our shop’s inventory will be as eclectic as our tastes with a variety of furniture (some shabby, some not), repurposed items, antiques, vintage and collectable items.

I’m hoping over time that many of you will participate in our Vintage Treasure Sales on the second Saturday of each month which will be held in conjunction with Market Days. You can access the application by clicking on the link. If you'd like any additional information on Pickers & Peddlers or you have anything you'd like us to pick, call me at (352) 302-3666 and leave a message.