By John Robert
Ted Smith takes the old phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” literally. Michigan Authentics Treasures, located at 2320 West Road, opened on April 20, but the idea came long before that.
Smith had helped friends move unwanted items from storage units and estate sales essentially to the dump. Looking to see what was being thrown away, he found a variety of items, ranging from glassware to odd toys like a large Brain statue from the 90’s cartoon “Pinky and the Brain.” In these items, he saw value, and it was then that he saw a potential business model.
He bought these items from his friend, and started making other purchases, eventually enough to fill a store — and then some. He admits that in the back room, where other items lie in wait for space to be displayed, it “looks like a tornado went through.”
The store already contains an almost innumerable variety of goods. On one wall, shelves and shelves of glass and tableware, from your essential clear glass cups to uranium glass that glows under a black light. On the other side you can find a range of other items, from collectible Coke cans and bottles to clown statues to computer printers and books.
Michigan Authentics Treasures also features a variety of clothing, including some that are good for daily wear and some which would make for fun costumes. The furniture in the store is mostly depression era, and includes tables, chairs, desks and even an antique sewing machine.
Best of all, Smith makes an effort to price of all his wares to move.
“The only problem with the store is that it really isn’t big enough,” he said, “so I’m always trying to just keep things moving.” He references a new table and set of wicker chairs he bought in a Pier 1 liquidation sale as an example of an item that is taking up a good deal of space, and which he would love to part with.
One gets the feeling that as more business comes in, Smith will constantly be able to cycle out new items, and there is probably something here for everyone if only he had space for it.
He also sells some consignment items that are from other local businesses, and eventually would like to offer Michigan-made handcrafted items, such as birdhouses or wicker baskets.
The business is family owned and operated, as his brothers arrive in the afternoon to help him tend to the shop, and his mother helped push him into business. He credits the City of Trenton for being supportive, and making it easy for a new business to start operations without undue hassle.
The store is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., but, Smith admits, “I’m usually here on Sundays, so I just keep the door open.”
He is looking to do a grand opening sometime in the beginning of June.
For more information, or to see some of the things he has for sale, visit www.mi-treasures.com, or check out Michigan Authentics Treasures on Facebook.