When it comes to selling antiques, Carrie Bergin knows a thing or two.

After all, she’s been doing it for more than 40 years.

But the market for collectibles has changed since Bergin, with her mother, opened the shop in 1971.

From The Yankee Trader, on U.S. Highway 101 in Gearhart Thursday, Bergin describes how the former dance hall has transformed and how she keeps things ‘new’ in a vintage world.

“It’s kind of the ‘thrill of the hunt,’ but almost everything I get, I have to put a tweak on it, or twist it up a little bit so that it’s repurposed,” 58-year-old Bergin said. “I refinish almost every piece of furniture. Almost every piece needs something. But my mother did a lot of the refinishing, like stripping paint, which used to be the thing to do, the popular thing. Now you take something that doesn’t have paint and paint it. So things have really shifted.”

The popular items used to be “official, hardcore 100-year-old antiques,” Bergin said. Now items for the 1950s and 1960s are in high demand.

The shop is organized by theme or color in several areas of the store. There are the Americana antiques in the front of the store for a Fourth of July display; a collection of blue glass and seashell items in the beach section; pink tutus and cowboy boots in one of two sparkling pink collections; a baby section and an area filled with antique dishes line the back wall.

“There wasn’t a lot here when we started and now it’s full,” she said. “I try to do displays that kind of showcase different vignettes throughout the store. Mostly old, fun, different, off-the-wall things.”

Bergin says as a teen she wasn’t really in to the whole antique thing, having grown up with it. “But that’s evolved,” she said.

“I hope to put out there a fun place for people to come,” she said. “And just enjoy some of the little pieces of history.”

Bergin says antiquing is a way of life for her. She loves to hunt for items, do displays and fix things up to sell in her shop.

But in that shop, some might see a familiar face from time to time.

She’s been married to the Clatsop County Sheriff, Tom Bergin, for more than 20 years.

“He helps in here with the big things,” she said, addind with a laugh, “but I have to have it all lined up and it has to be an in-and-out situation. He does not like hanging out in here.”

Bergin says in her spare time, she loves spending time at home and with her family and animals. She is mother to a 27-year-old stepdaughter and a daughter who recently graduated from Seaside High School.

“This consumes you, it really does,” she said.

— Chelsea Gorrow

 

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