PLATTSBURGH — Find out what can be had at Mid-Century Mad.
Owner Shelley Fracalossi opened Mid-Century Mad Vintage Variety at 12 Brinkerhoff St. in October 2012. She tries to focus on quirky items from the 1950s through ‘70s, but isn’t limited to that era.
Fracalossi said she has always loved unique, one-of-a-kind and even slightly off-beat pieces.
“I get to express my creativity through the stuff I buy,” she said. “If I don’t like it, I won’t buy it, no matter how much it’s worth.”
VARIETY OF GOODS
There is a large display of art works on the walls, priced from $25 to $200.
The jewelry case is also well stocked with handmade jewelry and even contains some of her own creations.
Fracalossi has a few pieces of mid-century furniture, and is always looking for more. She tries to put a number of very colorful items in the two display windows that face Brinkerhoff Street.
Glassware and ceramic pieces are scattered throughout. There is even a collection of vintage radios.
A pair of his and hers Lord Elgin gold-plated watches have yet to go on display. They are still running and keep perfect time, Fracalossi said.
“How do you price something like that?” she asked.
People seem to be more interested in buying vintage goods these days, Fracalossi said, in part due to the changing economic times. It also helps that everybody loves shopping for a bargain.
The shop has a fairly constant turnover, with most items on display for six months or less.
Fracalossi has long enjoyed the antique and collectibles business. She grew up in the Town of Plattsburgh and enjoyed scavenging for “treasures” as a child.
She got even more involved in searching for antiques and collectibles as she and her husband were building their cabin in the 1970s. That led Fracalossi to read up on antiquing and eventually open Trinity Park Antiques.
She operated that shop for nearly 20 years, first above the Corner-Stone Bookshop and later at a Miller Street location.
“You never really leave the antique business,” Fracalossi said. “It’s like a cult. It sucks you in.”
BUILT UP INVENTORY
Trinity Park Antiques closed in 2007, and Fracalossi focused on her tax business. That changed when she moved to the new location, which offered plenty of space to indulge her love of antiques and collectibles.
After renovating the interior to create the displays, sales counter and secure office for the tax business, Fraclossi slowly filled the shop with inventory from front to back.
The shop’s fixtures and display cases are all used pieces from auctions and other sources, she said, which helps give the shop a homey feel.
At 1,300 square feet, it is the largest shop she’s operated. It seems even larger due to the 13-foot ceilings, which allow even more display area.
One of the enjoyable parts of the business is the chance to meet new people and learn about their interests, whether that be art, collectibles or even what’s going on in their lives.
Fracalossi said she has three people who help out in the shop, including one who has been with her off and on for about 30 years.
She is pleased to be part of what she sees as a reemergence of the downtown business scene, characterized by an ever changing array of small businesses. Fracalossi tries to support events such as First Weekends or performances at the Strand Theatre, by staying open later at those times.
“This is going to be a great area to be in,” she said.
This is a busy time of year for Fracalossi, who also operates Jade Tree Tax Professionals from a secure office within the shop. It is her 39th years as a tax professional.
“During tax season, I have little time to search for antiques,” she said.
BUYS IN CANADA
After April 15, she will have more time to resume the search for the one-of-a-kind items she likes to offer in her shop. That includes an annual trip to Canada for a couple weeks every summer.
Mid-Century Mad Vintage Variety is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Payment can be by cash, check and major credit card.
The shop has its own Facebook page.
For more information, call 561-1517.
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org