How’s Biz? Antiques get new life at Craig’s Barely Spent
Life is good for Joel Martinez right now.
The co-owner of Craig’s antique store, Barely Spent, reports that business is going so well at the sprawling second-hand shop at 468 Ranney St. that his wife, Stephanie, just over a week ago quit her job to come help run the shop full-time.
“She’s with us full-time now,” Martinez said. “She gave up a job after 12 years for this.”
The deceptively huge store sells wares acquired at auction across the country — Martinez said he was just in Mississippi to pick up some product — running the spectrum from furniture to clothing to electronics, tools and, of course, antiques.
“Only thing we don’t sell is firearms,” Martinez said. “Although I’ve got BB guns.”
Business has been booming in the nearly four years since the shop opened, Martinez said.
“I see another store,” he said. “It’ll be somewhere else, we’re looking at some different venues.”
Martinez said sales have been better than they’d anticipated.
“It’s our prices,” Martinez said. “And we sell everything. Pretty much sell everything. A lot of people think we’re a thrift store, but we’re not. We don’t take donations, and you go into thrift stores, it’s not nearly the variety we have.”
The niche Barely Spent has filled locally is a fairly broad one, Martinez said.
“There’s not really a variety in Craig, especially when it comes to antiques,” Martinez said. “We like the weird stuff.”
Martinez said he was surprised at how fast the store has grown in the nearly four years it’s been in business.
“Shoot, when we first started, we didn’t have hardly anything,” he said. “Emptied a 10-by-20 storage unit into this place. This building is big, and we’ve filled it.”
While he knows it can’t be counted on, the shutdown of Interstate 70 has been a boon to business for the store.
“Oh yeah, it helps Craig,” Martinez said. “Can’t last forever, but we’ll take advantage.”
Beyond the success, Martinez said it’s been a lot of fun.
“Getting through COVID, we got shut down, and we didn’t get government assistance,” he said. “We didn’t need it. When they shut us down I had a protest at the courthouse, but not many people showed up. But then we just, shoot, started putting stuff on Facebook and we were able to make it through that short period, about six weeks. We took pictures of stuff, put it on Facebook and the community came through.”
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