W hen students move into their first dorm, apartment or house, they often find themselves emptying their pockets just to furnish or decorate their homes. But with endless antique and secondhand stores in Abilene, students can purchase fashionable furnishings without the large price tag.
Ambler Plaza, which is just a short drive from ACU, is a dealer mall with 13 merchants. Each dealer has a small collection of unique pieces, ranging from antique furniture to cute collectibles.
“Those that know us come and check for anything they’re looking for because it may be in here,” Middlebrooks said. “I think what’s unique about us is if we don’t have it, we’ll find it for you or send you where you can get it.”
Another great feature of Ambler Plaza is its discounts.
“We tend to discount at any given moment. Most of the time you’ll get a discount if you ask,” Middlebrooks said.
Middlebrooks immediately makes customers feel at home with her small-town Texas accent and easygoing personality. She has an extensive knowledge of antiques and sells many items of her own in Ambler Plaza.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It’s kind of like a treasure hunt on a daily basis. Either we’re hunting for the treasure or the customer is.”
Rust and Roses is another antique store in Abilene. Just past Bike Town on South 1st Street, it is one of Abilene’s newest and cutest locations for great vintage merchandise. The owner, Sandra Hopper, has been in the business for years but just opened Rust and Roses in October in what was previously her husband’s body shop.
“What sets us apart is quality. It’s not your standard junk shop,” Hopper said. “We have everything from things we dig out of barns to European pieces.”
Hopper has a picker in London who selects items she might want for the store; she travels to London every three months to get the pieces. Several large wardrobes and buffets in her store are from Europe. She also carries a wide variety of chandeliers, which are always popular with her customers.
Rust and Roses also offers several great benefits and discounts. College students don’t have to pay tax on any item purchased there, and every three months, the shop holds a drawing for a piece of furniture. Customers just have to go to Rust and Roses and register. Past giveaways have included a wardrobe from England and a vanity from France.
Even with so many quality pieces, Rust and Roses maintains reasonable prices and doesn’t sell anything for more than $1,000. They also keep a want book for customers looking for a particular item. Hopper takes the book with her on pickups so she can be on the lookout for pieces the customers are looking for.
Made from Scratch, located on Hickory Street, is run from a house listed in the Abilene Register of Historic Properties that is more than 100 years old. The two women in charge of the antique store have been working together for many years and share a passion for antiques and collectibles. Made from Scratch is known for making alterations on items such as sweaters and baby quilts.
Owner Nancy Emery said they have recently been emphasizing “green crafts.” This includes recycling linens and saving old textiles to make into new items.
“No one else in Abilene does fabric restoration. We do lace and crochet work,” Emery said.
Made from Scratch runs sales several times throughout the year. The most recent gave buyers half off all items, excluding furniture. Between the sweet ladies who run the antique shop and the wide variety of adorable, fun merchandise, Made from Scratch is sure to please.
Next time you’re in the market for new furniture or home decor, try any of these three antique stores. You’re sure to leave with a few charming treasures that will brighten up any room.