?Salvage? market prepares for encore effort

Inside the 1897 for church, the eight participating merchants display their wares for the April 18-19 market that drew nearly 600 people. Courtesy photo by Richard Calam

Following a strong debut last month, organizers of the Cedar Street Salvage Co. are preparing for an encore performance Saturday and Sunday.

Eight longtime collectors from Marion County put their heads?and their wares?together to launch a monthly market weekend with the hope of drawing potential buyers from within and beyond the county.

?The basic thought of it was focusing on some of our shops in Marion County and surrounding area,? said Sharon Mueller, owner of Molly?s Mercantile in Hillsboro and a key mover in the project. ?Folks who do this kind of thing like to go where there?s more than one (merchant).?

With an estimated draw of nearly 600 people to its April 18-19 opening?despite scheduling challenges on Saturday and questionable weather on Sunday?organizers are thinking they may be on to something good.

?I was very pleased that we did have a very good turn?out,? Mueller said. ?I said the Lord did everybody a favor. He gave farmers some rain and gave us sunshine in between.?

Not only was the turnout encouraging, but so was the bottom line.

?Everybody was pleased with their sales,? Mueller said on behalf of the partners, even after rent, utilities and other expenses were deducted.

The event is staged in a former Seventh-Day Adven?tist meetinghouse built in 1897. It was moved to its current location at 316 N. Cedar in Hillsboro years ago, and most recently served as the home of the Garden Center, a business owned by Sharon and Alan Boese, who are among the participating merchants.

?We got a lot of comments on that,? Mueller said of the vintage building. ?People were very happy to be back in it?and it just adds to the atmosphere.?

The Cedar Street Salvage Co. sign marks the location and the address of the this weekend?s market in rustic style. Don Ratzlaff / Free Press

Rustic treasures

The Cedar Street Salvage Co. seeks to offer antique collectibles and repurposed items created with objects and materials from times past.

?Salvage? is itself a repurposed word that used to refer to junk but now connotes rustic treasures.

?We want that to be the main focus?like we cleaned out our barns and our sheds,? Mueller said of the name. ?We didn?t want it to be a flea market or a garage sale. I don?t want to offend anybody by saying that, because I have those, too.?

Added Boese, ?The emphasis is on salvage items. With Pinterest being so big right now, it?s kind of what people are looking for.?

The planning team hopes to provide a relaxed market environment where potential buyers can browse at their leisure and without feeling rushed, Mueller said.

To facilitate that goal, members of the organizing team become ?staff? during the market weekend.

?We try to locate as many as we can near their booths in order to promote their stuff, but not necessarily,? Mueller said. ?We all have an orange shirt with our name on it. ?If you want someone to help, find somebody with an orange shirt.??

Buyer numbers are assigned to visitors as they enter the building. When they make a purchase, the buyer number is written on the sales tag, and volunteers offer to take the merchandise to a holding area so the buyer can continuing browsing without having to carry their purchases.

?That way they mill around longer,? Mueller said. ?And if they see somebody, they can stop and visit.?

While the first goal of the market weekend is to help participating merchants enhance their sales, organizers have a larger vision for the event.

?Our goal is to attract a lot of people from maybe a little further away to experience our town and the towns around it,? Boese said.

Mueller said at least two local store owners reported that traffic in their downtown stores increased the weekend of the April market.

?I guess we?re trying to find an opportunity for (business owners) to tag on,? Mueller said. ?We?re trying to make the third weekend in Hillsboro like ?First Friday in Kansas City.? We want it to be an experience.

?I?m hoping businesses will consider being open a little longer on Saturdays,? she added. ?I?m not telling people what they ought to do, but sometimes I think we?re missing an opportunity here. I hope that this is offering an opportunity. That was one of the main goals.?

Looking ahead

Currently, Cedar Street Salvage Co. organizers have markets planned for the third weekend of April, May, June, July, August and Sep?tember.

Mueller said the planning team knows that people are looking for ?something new? at each month?s event.

?A lady from Kansas City was here last time,? Mueller said. ?She said, ?Now tell me, what will you do the next time that can be better than this? She was very complimentary, but she was saying she can definitely see the trend going away from antique malls to the markets and back to the small-town shops.?

For the market this weekend, Mueller said the team has been toying with ways to highlight seasonal themes such as Memorial Day, Father?s Day, the Indianap?olis 500 and classic cars.

?Maybe we?ll have an emphasis on old car parts,? she joked.

The hours for Cedar Street Salvage Co. are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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