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Business expands with an eye toward collectibles

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By Molly Haines

A cozy atmosphere and friendly faces bring customers to the recently expanded M&T Country Collectibles.

The business opened in June of 2006, specializing in antiques. In 2007, the owner, Melissa Perkins, decided to completely revamp her store and do away with antiques.

The business now specializes in country and primitive home décor and folk art, as well as many miscellaneous items such as Candleberry candles.

The expansion, which was completed earlier this month, has given Perkins the chance to bring in more items. Perkins said the space was needed because she never passes up a chance to purchase new items for the store.

“We go to a lot of shows to buy items for the store,” Perkins said. “When I go to the shows I’m always looking for something new, and if an item isn’t moving, we mark it down and get it out of here to bring in new items.”

Perkins said the expansion would not have been possible if it weren’t for her husband Tony.

“Tony built the store itself and he also built the expansion,” Perkins said. “I don’t know what we would do without him. He helps us hang items up around the store and anything else we need.”

Perkins, who has run a tax service for 15 years, said M&T Country Collectibles is the first business she has ever owned.

“You don’t see a lot of stores like ours anymore because of the economy,” Perkins said. “We’re fortunate because we live next door to our business and we built the store ourselves so we’re not paying rent or anything like that.”

Perkins said that it’s tough to pinpoint one item as her biggest seller.

“We sell a lot of everything we have,” Perkins said. “But even if we’re having a slow day, we’ll always sell a Candleberry candle. We also do well with our quilts.”

Kathy Allen, a sales associate, and Perkins both agreed that M&T Country Collectibles is different from other similar businesses in Owen County.

“There’s a real home-like atmosphere here,” Allen said. “We’ve become friends with a lot of our customers.”

Perkins said the small-town atmosphere within the county makes it easy to interact with customers.

“We treat everyone that comes in here just like family,” Perkins said. “We offer them coffee or a brownie and we get to know our customers as they shop around.”

The business also keeps track of how much money their customers have spent. Once a customer spends $200, they receive $10 off their next purchase. Perkins also keeps track of each customer’s birthday. If a customer makes a purchase during the month of their birthday, they receive 10 percent off the item.

M&T Country Collectibles will hold a grand reopening sale June 5-6. Every item in the store will be 10-percent off, customers will receive a chance to win a door prize, and refreshments will be served.

M&T Country Collectibles is located at 4410 Hwy. 127 N. Business hours are Thursday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call (502)484-3977 or contact the business by e-mail at mandtcountrycollectibles@cainpro.com.