published Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Small Biz: Dayton, Tenn., gallery offers vintage glassware, memorabilia

Terry Wilkey, owner of Gallery Antiques & Collectibles in Dayton, Tenn., sets up a Christmas display to greet customers entering his store.  In the background, a selection of vintage states' license plates hang on the wall.
Terry Wilkey, owner of Gallery Antiques & Collectibles in Dayton, Tenn., sets up a Christmas display to greet customers entering his store. In the background, a selection of vintage states' license plates hang on the wall.
Photo: Kimberly McMillian

• Name: Gallery Antiques & Collectibles

• Location: 1367 Market St. in Dayton, Tenn.

• Contact: 423-285-5865

• Products/services: Vintage glassware and sports memorabilia, license plates, 1900s sewing machine tables and furniture, jewelry aficionado Sandy Kay's collection of sterling silver and "Lunch at the Ritz" costume jewelry, local artist Deanna Grove's canvas and tile paintings

• Owner: Terry Wilkey, 67

• Inspiration behind the name: Wilkey, a former manager and longtime collector, said that his passion and expertise over the years for finding rare items helped with the transition as a business owner with his gallery of items.

• Startup investment/anticipated annual sales: Wilkey said that his startup costs ranged from $12,000 to $15,000, which included minor additions of display shelves and cases, since he'd moved into a previously occupied downtown location.

• Price range of services: $1 for small glassware, up to $300 furniture

• Target market: "Local consumers who'd return on a repetitive basis" and outside residents intrigued by his selection, Wilkey said, were his targeted customers.

• Biggest hurdle: Additional downtown parking, he said, would help with customers' appeal to stop and shop, along with customers acknowledgement of his store opening where multiple businesses had once occupied the space.

• Challenge to new vendors: "Someone with vintage tools and antique furniture, toys, clothing" are items he'd welcome in 2014.

• Lesson learned: Wilkey sighed, and said that the popularity of items a decade ago didn't exist today. "Times have changed," he said.

• Five-year goal: The use of Internet marketing is a goal in the next year.

Kimberly McMillian is based in Rhea County. Contact her at kdj424@bellsouth.net.

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