This is the first in a series of dealer profiles I'm doing for the Livingston Antique Outlet (LAO) in Howell, Michigan, one of the three antique malls where I rent space. The owners of the mall, Jeff and Lori Wengle, have asked me to photograph the booths and profile dealers in the mall to post on the LAO website. I will be duplicating some of the posts here on my blog.
George Gosheff has been an antique dealer for 30 years. His partner Carole became a dealer "out of self-preservation" 14 years ago as she began seeing George and visiting the antique malls with him. Together they have become quite a dynamic duo! Carole started collecting hand-painted plates from Germany and Austria, but as with most of us, her collecting habit grew. George's interest in antiques began with automobile-related items for the first 15 years, then he expanded his repertoire into furniture and advertising memorabilia.
George and Carol in one of their three booth spaces at LAO:
At this time, George sells antiques at LAO, the Antiques Market of Williamston, swap meets in Hershey, PA, and occasionally on Ebay. Carole sells at LAO only, but if you see how many items they have there, you'll understand why Carole doesn't need to expand!
Carole sells primarily "smalls". She keeps an eye out for anything she thinks will sell quickly at LAO, and snaps it up! George specializes in automobile related items, advertisements, general store merchandise, some early clothing and antique bathing suits, trains, toys, signs, and furniture. George did a ton of refinishing for about ten years but grew weary of that and now only buys furniture if it's "mall-ready". He also keeps an eye out for vintage clothing boxes with super looking graphics, and has sold some really great examples over the years.
An old display with some of George's general store merchandise:
"When Pigs Fly", a cute cast iron figurine:
Salt Water Taffy "Cut-to-Fit-the-Mouth":
I'm always curious about the homes of antique dealers. Do George and Carol have their house decorated like their booths at LAO? Not really. They have a 12' shelf against one wall in their kitchen on which they display most of their artifacts. But George's garage is another story! That's his place to display is auto-related memorabilia including a Texaco display with gas pumps, a mannequin gas attendant and advertising, cars, clocks, and thermometers. "Guy Stuff", basically!
This clock qualifies as "Guy Stuff":
I also asked George and Carole if they would reveal their sources for the items they sell. They spend time in Florida each winter and acquire much of their stock there in the towns of Mt. Dora, Webster, Arcadia, and Bartow. They also travel a lot and cover antique malls in the Northeast and Southwest, plus Hershey, PA, and Iola, WI. They rarely hit garage sales. George and Carole also get bites from sellers that contact them from a listing in the phone book and business cards left at LAO. Lastly, Carole acquires much of her jewelry from the large community rummage sale that's held yearly where she and George spend their winters in Florida. So in a nutshell, George and Carole do a lot of legwork to bring their treasures to us at LAO!
Feminine items from the "girly booth":
What are the hot sellers in their booths? Carole noted that Fire King Jadite always sells well, but actually she can't complain about anything at LAO! While in Florida the last three months, she had over 230 items sell from her booth! George's hot sellers include advertising signs, primitive cabinets, and the 8 x 10 photos of various categories (pictured below):
There's lots of Jadite on these shelves:
If you were looking for a gingham apron, now you know where to find one!
Glass Scotty dogs watch over the booth:
What was the most interesting item George or Carole has ever sold? George responded that it was a vintage diving mannequin he found in Michigan's Upper Peninsula several years ago in an old department store. The owner didn't want to part with it for several years, but George finally wore him down. Once George acquired it, he had to make repairs. But once he got her back in shape, she wasn't on the shelf long before she sold:
George bought the bathing cap from me, I'm proud to say!
The large selection of jewelry Carole always keeps in stock:
Cow creamers mooing:
The glass is grouped by color for an eye-pleasing effect:
I'd like to end this post with a picture I took on the fly, but I think it sums things up nicely. I left LAO with Carole writing out price stickers for her items, something I know she's spent many hours doing. She's very organized, even highlighting the price with a yellow pen!
Be sure to say "Hello" to George and Carole if you see them at LAO now that you know who they are. George loves to chat about antiques, and Carole is as friendly as can be!
Contact information for George and Carol: email@example.com
Written by: Mitzi Curi