If you want to take an environmental approach to shopping this holiday season, step back in time with vintage items at Plaid Eagle in downtown Lewisburg. Here, you’ll find something old and new. The shop carries a wide selection of pieces made to last, from a generation of real wood and sturdy materials. For this article, get to know this antique shop with its owner, Karen McClung.
What is Plaid Eagle’s history?
While Plaid Eagle Antiques is 5 years old, I started out in the antique business in 1990 with a very little shop called Peddlar’s Alley Antiques, which was “down the alley” where Lawyer Barry Bruce has his office. It was on a corner street and at that time was a motel so we opened up in two tiny rooms. This shop was opened with a partner and 5 years ago, I decided to go on my own. I was very lucky to find my current location, which is one floor. We’ve also kept our shopping area wide so it’s stroller/wheel chair accessible.
What kind of antiques does Plaid Eagle specialize in?
To keep variety among our shoppers, I like to have different items than you see in other shops. I try to have something for everyone. For men, we have tools, fishing items, books on trains, farming, and historical pieces. For ladies, we carry linens, quilts, glass ware, silver, kitchen items. For children, we have books like Tarzan, Lassie, Five Little Peppers, vintage toys, arrowheads, and civil war bullets. Since I was a teacher, I’ve loved guiding kids “what items are” and “how to use” them. That is so much fun! If a collector walks into our shop, I bet we have what they collect! We have 1950s 45 records, Black Memorabilia, Coke bottles, medical items, lots of framed pictures of Robert E Lee and George Washington. We have many different framed items.
How did you get started as an antique dealer?
My parents loved to redo old furniture and “antiques” or recycled/green items are all I have known. I really dislike the new furniture that is fiberboard or just wood on the front of the drawers. It won’t last long. Quality antiques will always be good. They may come and go in popularity, but they will always last.
Would you say there may be an area of antiques you would advise people to get or not get into collecting?
Antiques are like hair styles or skirt hems: they go up and down. One year straight razors are hot and the next year it may be Carnival glass. It’s more or less a guessing game of what will be trendy. I think that is why I like having “a little of everything!” It seems that everything that is “in” goes “out” and it takes it about 10 years to cycle back “in”. Right now, glass insulators are out of favor. About 8 or 9 years ago everyone wanted them. Of course, there are not as many around as there were 8 years ago. Importantly though, a good quality or rare item will sell no matter what it is.
What are your future plans for Plaid Eagle?
What are your future plans for Plaid Eagle Antiques?
I have lots of plans for the shop. Everyday, we do little things to better our service for our customers. You can now find us on Facebook. Here, you’ll see new items often!