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"We thought: Well, what if we have a flea market once a month?" she says. So she and a dozen other antique dealers put prices on some items and opened the doors the first weekend of the month, to coincide with Good Ju Ju's hours.
"A lot of people showed up," she says.
By the next month, she had a waiting list of dealers. Eventually, she moved to a larger space in the old Stowe Hardware Building at 13th Street and Hickory. First, her business occupied the ground floor. Now it takes up the second floor, too.
McClure has met dealers and customers from neighboring states. "This area has become a day-trip destination," she says.
This past March, Patricia Allen opened Bella Patina one block east of Good Ju Ju. The space was previously occupied by a computer company. She was another Good Ju Ju regular who was moved to act. "We would have so much fun down here," she says. "It was like an event, a festival. And we thought: Why not another one? So we took the next step."
Foot traffic has only increased, she adds. And the shoppers buy so much that one of Allen's main concerns has been making sure that she and her vendors have enough items to last three days.
The stores aren't really competitors, she says. Their differences complement one another, making the area even more popular. For instance, while Good Ju Ju is known for creative repurposing, Bella Patina has a shabby chic style and Bottoms Up offers more true antiques.
The businesses in more jeopardy, some here believe, are those elsewhere in the metro. The resale bargains in the West Bottoms can be a refreshing break from shops full of high-end antiques. The buzz here is that this is the new antique row — a title traditionally held by the shops near State Line Road and 45th Street. "I absolutely believe that this is going to be known as the area for antiques," Allen says.
The excitement is lost on some. Good Ju Ju has given Restaurant Depot some headaches.
Three years ago, the restaurant-supply store became Good Ju Ju's neighbor directly to the west. As Moore's business became more popular, bargain hunters' vehicles overflowed into Restaurant Depot's parking lot. At first, that wasn't too much of a problem — the number of spaces in the lot outnumbered the wholesaler's customers.
About a year ago, though, the balance shifted. Good Ju Ju's vendors and customers — and the vendors and customers who have followed in its footsteps — showed up in epic numbers at a time when the restaurant-supply store's customer base also increased. Restaurant Depot manager Todd Osgood put out "Restaurant Depot parking only" signs. The resale customers' cars continued to invade. So Osgood took the next step: towing cars.
Nothing kills a great vintage-furniture find like discovering that you can't get it or yourself home.
Osgood and Moore are now working together to remedy the problem. Moore warns customers online that Osgood isn't kidding about his tow threat. She also posts large signs throughout her store.
Although Osgood has been frustrated at times with Moore's customers, he has nothing but praise for Good Ju Ju's founder. "It is hard to control adult behavior," he says. "People are going to park where they want to park, no matter how many times you tell them not to park somewhere. Trish has worked very hard to keep her customers out of my lot. She has done more than her part to be a good neighbor."
She has transformed the neighborhood, Osgood adds. Three years ago, he didn't feel safe in the area at night. As more people who are associated with Good Ju Ju and the other resale stores have come to the area, he has noticed less and less trouble. "Now I do feel safe down there at night," he says. "And Trish — and everything she's brought to the area — has played a big role in that."