Jennifer Smith said she’s wanted to own her own store since she was a young girl.
As a child, she played “shopkeeper” for fun. As an adult, she’d visit other retailers and think “I’d love to own a store like this.”
Growing up, Smith often tagged along with her mom and grandmother to antique shows and sales, where she grew to be a fan of all things vintage.
Today, her love of business and antiques has come full circle. Smith is the new owner of Antiques on Second, one of Napa’s few antique stores.
Smith bought the dealer collective, located at 1370 Second St., from longtime owner Molly Silcox.
“It’s exciting (and) a little bit terrifying,” said Smith. “But we’ve been in business for 17 years so I figure that’s a good sign.” The collective opened in 2002.
Silcox continues to own the former Annex of Antiques on Second, located 1320 Second St. That business is now called Nostalgia of Napa.
Silcox said she decided to sell so she could concentrate on just one retail store. Antiques on Second is in good hands with Smith, said Silcox. “She’s got this great vision of what the store can be.”
Smith, who has been a vendor at Antiques on Second for about 10 years, said she and Silcox began talking about the store sale several months ago. The transition became effective on April 1.
Another thing that made the sale possible is that Smith’s youngest son (she has five children total) is now in grade school. That “makes a huge difference,” in being able to take on the business, she said.
In addition, because each vendor agrees to work in the collective a certain number of days per month, it frees up Smith from having to be in the shop every day.
Being the new owner of Antiques on Second “was sort of surreal,” at first, admitted Smith. “It didn’t feel real for a couple days,” she said. But, “We’ve been nice and busy,” said Smith. “I’m thrilled about that.”
Since the transition, Smith has rearranged the layout of the store including moving the shop counter to a new location.
“We freshened everything up and added some new variety,” she said. “It’s completely different.”
Smith also made room for six more dealers, for a total of 26 sellers.
The six new vendors (some are returning to Antiques on Second) are a varied lot.
Jeanette Shaw of Vineyard House Designs, formerly of the Lincoln Street Market in Calistoga, offers French imports and farmhouse-style wares.
Chris Griffith specializes in European imports. Abby Bement of Party of Nine is a sign maker but also specializes in boho/midcentury styles.
Ashley Manion of The Vintage Grape specializes in all things kitchen.
Nancy Brown and Sally Miller of Twisted Sister have a rustic farmhouse style. Trish Simpson of Simply Simpson rounds out the group.
Those 26 vendors offer a wide variety of American, European and Asian vintage and antique treasures, described as “amazing finds and unusual curiosities.”
Smith noted that the collective is one of Napa’s last antique stores, and has a waiting list for new sellers. Rents run from about $50 to $100 per month for a single case up to $650 per month for the largest spaces.
Other changes Smith plans include building a website, offering easier shipping and new social media efforts.
For now, Antiques on Second is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. This summer, Smith said she could extend her hours.
For details, call 707-252-6353, or visit 1370 Second St., downtown Napa.
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