| July 5, 1985 - January 15, 2017 |
Well, it really doesn't seem possible, however after almost thirty-two years in business,
The Other Side Antiques closed its doors forever on,
Sunday, January 15, 2017.
It's hard to imagine that what started out as a trip to New Jersey
in December 1980, to pick up Mary Ann's Grandmother's antique furniture turned into a refinishing project for John that would eventually
lead to opening up a storefront in 1985.
Some of you may remember that The Other Side Antiques was originally located in a building next to the railroad tracks at the dead end of Barcelona Street.
Five years later it was time to find a new home and a 1921, two-story bungalow on South Howard Avenue caught our eye.
This building had lots of character and apparently had housed lots of characters. We have been told that at one time it was a brothel, and in the 1950s, the front porch was closed in and a distinctly designed terrazzo floor was laid to make room for the waiting area of a newly converted doctor's office.
We can remember in our lifetime this building was home to
McMother's Celestial Junk Shop, Helen Chavez Catering, and finally,
The Other Side Antiques.
It has truly been our pleasure to be a part of your lives. Some of you we've known since you were first starting out. We've seen some of you before, during and after pregnancies and adoptions, watched the growth of your children and/or grandchildren, who some years later would purchase their home furnishings from The Other Side.
Yes, some still like the old stuff. And of course it was always a
pleasure to meet your out-of-town relatives and friends.
We've always enjoyed stories about what you, or in some cases, your kids were up to, what life was like after graduation, latest travels, insights, and adventures.
These encounters are certainly what we are going to miss the most.
Yes, it was fun traveling to the UK, scouring the English and Scottish countryside every four to six weeks for just the right pieces to fit into a 40-foot container.
Thank you, Lloyd Wiggins, for all your help along the way.
After about twenty years we stopped importing and started buying locally, and years later we started taking in consignments - some from our initial customers who were now at a point in their lives to retire and downsize.
| | The birth of the Internet took on a totally different dynamic and we finally got on board. Our website went live on September 17, 2004, and soon afterwards we were receiving orders from all over the United States, and countries as far away as Japan.
We always got a kick out of meeting our Internet customers when their travels brought them to Tampa and they would stop by the shop to say hello.
We want to thank Bill Sharpe, who guided Mary Ann in the beginning of our Internet venture, and Sherri and Sabbas Sanders of Industrial Webworks, who later helped in the development and also hosted our site for many years.
Through the years buyers from Maas Brothers and Burdines department stores, and Sigrid Olsen boutique stores approached us when they needed to incorporate unique display pieces. It was especially gratifying to see our wares in New York's SOHO district and also locally, where our wardrobes and sideboards added a
distinguishing touch to Tampa businesses.
| | Of course we cannot forget all the restoration projects that have passed through our doors. John especially liked this part of the business, and could not have done it alone. We want to give a big thank you to Larry Long, Louie Haas, Ed Zipper, Scott Wallin,
Spider, Elton and David Moore, Gary Shirley, Richard McCarthy, Robert Childs,
Jonathan Vogtner, Shari Rosploch, John Sabia, Jon Cournoyer, Dan O'Shaughnessy,
Troy Lathery, Joe Paez, Ron Arbogast, Scott Golden, and, Daniel Vazquez,
who at one time or another were part of the team.
We also want to also extend a huge thank you to all our friends and family who have cheered us on over the last thirty-two years.
Some of you may remember Leon and Mir Mir, who were kitties that found us when we were located on Barcelona Street. We, of course, brought them with us when we moved to our South Howard locale. Leon and Mir Mir always liked jumping into a wardrobe any time the door opened, just to regally pose for customers.
MiMi and her children Huey and Weezzee, were our next addition, and would come to the shop sporadically, so some of you may have also met them.
We will never forget the day that MiMi's pups were almost birthed at the shop. It wasn't until a customer commented that MiMi looked like she was ready to deliver that
Mary Ann took action, swooped MiMi into her arms and, frantically but cautiously,
drove her home. Just about one hour after MiMi settled in
three adorable little Chihuahua pups arrived.
We kept two and brother Fez went to live with his father, Paco.
Leon, Mir Mir, Huey, Weezzee, Fez, Paco, and MiMi lived very long, happy lives and, unfortunately, are no longer with us. Customers always asked if we were going to get any more kitties or puppies and we would always reply that they would find us.
Well, that happened early last year when two kitties, nursed on our backyard landing, adopted us. Their Mom took off for a few months, however she recently returned, so it looks like we are parents once again and Mom and her two sons are now at our home.
This last month has been such an emotional one. Many have either stopped by, or emailed us with so many kind remarks and wishes. We feel so fortunate to have met you, and want to thank you for giving us the opportunity to do what we have loved for almost thirty-two years. We don't know exactly where the next chapter will take us, however we want to thank you for filling the lines in between.
We wish you good health, peace and much love and laughter.
Mary Ann & John
And remember, always love what you do and do what you love!