Everyone loves to poke around an antique or collectible store once in while. Whether they’re looking for that perfect gift, or that ideal piece of furniture or artwork to complete a room, antique and collectible stores always have a few surprises inside, and in Windermere, 2nd Hand and Collectables is no different.
“It’s not a high-end antiques store, but it’s reasonably priced where you can come and get a collectible,” co-owner Diana Cote said.
Born and raised in Invermere, Cote started the business about two years ago in partnership with her daughter-in-law Trisha Wilson. Formerly employed by the Ministry of Forests, Cote said that it wasn’t really her plan to start a business.
“It actually started out as a garage sale,” Cote laughed. “It just kind of morphed into this business, without ever really having an idea of opening it.”
Any business owner will tell you that getting a business off the ground takes some time, and Cote said it took about a year to get themselves established.
At first, the store operated on a consignment basis — selling other people’s items in return for a small commission. As the store became more well-known, Cote said that dealing with the administrative details around those kinds of deals became more of a headache than anything, and today the store buys items outright and then resells them.
“For instance, a fellow who had sold his house here in Windermere and was a part-time resident, he didn’t want to have a garage sale,” Cote said. “So he came to me and said, ‘Listen, I’ll give you the entire contents, including the food in the fridge.’ He just wanted to walk out the door and not have to worry about it.”
Cote said that now, two years after opening, the store has really made a name for itself, and that they see customers from as far as Cranbrook and Golden. Trinkets, odds and ends, high-end clothing, home appliances, books, sports equipment and furniture are just a few of the items that customers can browse through, and Cote said new items are always coming in.
“Quite often we get donations, which really helps us out,” Cote said. “Lots of our part-time residents donate, which is so amazing.”
Cote said that while they do get a number of travellers, tourists and part-time residents looking for the odd thing here and there, the store truly depends on local consumers. Furniture and athletic gear are the most popular items, with skis and skates in particularly high demand this time of year.
“It really is the locals that keep me going,” Cote said. “We really appreciate that.”