Robin Crawford, one of City View’s longest-standing vendors, works at the store twice a month and visits weekly to rearrange or add items to her booth. Crawford shops at flea markets throughout Texas; the oldest item she has owned, a piece of furniture, is from the early 1900s.
“When my last child went to college, I was an empty-nester and kind of was in a spot where I was like, ‘now what?’ You know, I had been so involved in their (her kids’) stuff, so I kind of had to reinvent myself. When City View moved over to the location it’s in now, I went in and saw they had some space available. Then I was like: You know what? I think I’ll do that.”
Known as the largest flea market in the country, Canton’s First Monday trade days has a large selection of vendors with older, more unique finds, and that’s just what Crawford looks for.
“I go to Canton a lot, once a month,” she says. “And then I go to a huge flea-market kind of thing in South Texas near Houston called Round Top and find more things there.
“Sometimes people just call and say, ‘I don’t want this anymore, would you like to have it’ or go to an estate sale and purchase items,” Crawford says. “So just everywhere, anywhere you can find them.”
Williams says she hunts for items that fit her European antique theme.
“It’s like you’re out there, and you’re looking for stuff, but there’s all this junk and everything,” Williams says. “And then all of a sudden, there’s a treasure, you know, there’s something from the 19th century that’s really old and really valuable. And it’s having the skill, having acquired the skill to do that. I mean, I can go to some place, and I know what I’m looking at.”
Crawford, on the other hand, enjoys the restoration part of acquiring and selling antiques. In her words, she “brings them back to relevance.”
“You know, a lot of people think, oh, it’s old, they’re not interested in it anymore,” she says. “But just a little bit of polish or paint or glue can make it look fabulous again.”
City View Antique Mall, 6830 Walling Lane near Skillman and Abrams behind Jake’s Hamburgers, is open daily. Visit cityviewantiques.com for more information.