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Vintage store takes you back

By CHUCK BALLARO - | Sep 7, 2021

A vintage furniture set at the Paris Market Antique Mall at 1357 N. Tamiami Trail.

When Sandi Smith was younger, she would go to Paris and visit the flea markets, not as odd as it might sound as in France, they don’t sell “junk.”

She subsequently decided to open a French-themed store that also focuses on the unique and vintage and that’s how Paris Market Antique Mall got its start.

Smith first opened a pair of stores years ago in Connecticut, in Stamford and Monroe, before moving to Florida in 2011.

Paris Market Antique Mall opened in 2015 on McGregor Boulevard in Fort Myers. When the lease ran out, they relocated for two years before coming to their current location at 1357 N. Tamiami Trail in April.

“Things have gone well here. It’s a nice location, easy in and easy out. We have people come in from the Cape because it’s easy to get to,” Smith said. 

During the pandemic, as it was for many, it was rough. The store had to close for several months, but were able to weather the storm and continue on.

This was a good thing for the mascots, consisting of three cats and a parrot, who roam, stand guard of the place and enjoy all the goodies an antique shop can provide.

The store has a collection of vintage furniture from mid-century to period, as well as vintage clocks, hats — particularly top hats — clothing, sterling silver, fine jewelry, china and crystal, Victorian, French provincial, books and much more.

“We sell antiques. We have lots of jewelry, a lot of fine art and furniture, paintings,” Smith said. “We get a lot of people who come to redecorate their rooms.”

You can get anything at a variety of price points from around $5 to thousands of dollars, particularly the art and furniture.

Jewelry is among the best sellers, though Smith said it’s hard to tell some days as everyone has certain tastes. Smith said her shop is a top hat headquarters, with hats that are decades old.

Smith gets her merchandise from people who may be moving and selling their furniture. She very rarely sells on consignment.

Paris Market Antique Mall is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed Monday, otherwise by appointment.

“Sunday is our busiest day. People aren’t working and they tend to come here after church,” Smith said. “Monday is the day we do the laundry.”

For more information call Smith at 997-2022 or go to www.parismarketantiquemall.com. They also have Facebook and Instagram pages.


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