While Macklemore and Ryan Lewis gave Goodwill and smaller thrift shops some publicity, few students seem to take advantage of the plethora of antique shops this pocket of western Kentucky offers. Hazel, Ky., a short eight miles from Murray, was named one of the “10 Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S.” by Fodor’s Travel website at the end of January.
Hazel appeared on the travel site’s list in the company of much larger towns, such as Charleston, S.C.
In fact, Hazel boasts the list’s smallest population, beating out the next smallest town by about 300 people.
“With only about 410 people, Hazel is a small but mighty antiquing town, as it boasts a remarkable 12 independent antique stops,” said Fodor’s Travel writer Zachary Laks. “Almost all of these shops line the town’s Main Street allowing for an easy day-long stroll through American history. Trace through decades of country fashion at the State Line Ranch & Home, where hats, jeans, boots and rodeo gear fly off the shelves. Then walk on over to Blue Moon Antiques, where definitive furniture pieces such as over-sized armoires are so remarkable, they demand attention.”
Not all students have the space for armoires or chests of drawers, but other treasures can be salvaged among the larger, not so practical items for residential colleges or apartments.
One-of-a-kind lamps, vases or other decorations are practically guaranteed to be found in antique stores.
There are not only decorations, though – practical items like sewing machines or repurposed wood pallets can be found in order to create DIY Pinterest projects.
Brennan Handley, junior from Springfield, Ill., started antiquing three years ago when her mom and sister got her into it.
“In the Murray area, I personally have only been to Trends and Treasures as far as thrift store go,” she said. “They have items ranging from furniture to clothing. There is something for everyone. My main goal is usually to have something to look for and hopefully find it.”
While one definition of “antique” is something ancient, it also refers to an item that is prized or is a collectible because of its age.
Antiquing is common for those looking to furnish a home or that antiques solely belong to an outdated sense of style.
But, there are antique pieces that can be paired with modern decor to pull a room together, or become useful appliances.
Handley has found that antiquing has provided an opportunity for her and her family to bond.
“One of my favorite items that my family and I found is an old buffet server,” she said. “We got a great deal on it because its leg was broken. My favorite part was helping my dad sand it down and repaint it.”
If an antiquing trip seems like it’s not going to be successful, students may want to take another look at their options and see if there is anything there that could be refurbished. And, if they like the idea of refurbished items but lack craftiness, they can visit Sunshine Lane, a shop set in Merchant’s Market in Murray. The shop has a following because the mother-daughter pair that runs it refurbishes furniture and other domestic pieces.
Patience is one of the most important things students will need to take with them when antiquing, though. Shopping in some antique stores is like shopping at Forever 21 – sorting through the good and the bad takes time, but the end result is more than worth it.
“I think it is worth it to go if you have specific items you are looking for; if not, you could wander around aimlessly wasting your time,” Handley said. “I think students could find antiquing and thrift shopping useful when shopping for their apartments. I know of a lot of people who have found their furniture at those places for a great price.”
Story by Kayla MacAllister, Staff writer