Antique and modern collide in what will be an exciting new addition to The Main at Evanston.
Pop in to Swantiques Pop-Up shop, a curated and cool collection of one-of-a-kind antique, vintage, and mid-century modern pieces.
Free parking will be available in the Retail Parking Garage, located in the alley just east of 518 Main Street.
Just like at its showroom in Skokie, new items will arrive weekly throughout the duration of the Pop-Up, which will be open May 4 through June 1.
Hours will be 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The Main recently had the opportunity to chat with Swantiques owner Lora Swanson to talk antiques, life and all about the upcoming pop up.
The Main: How would you summarize your “story?”
Lora Swanson: I’ve been an antique dealer for 10 years, but it’s been a long road. This is my second career, or perhaps my third, if you count raising a family. It’s something for which I’ve always had a passion, and I think I always knew I would end up here. Once my youngest child was in middle school, I decided to take the plunge and I rented a booth in an antique mall. That eventually led to opening a shop with another dealer, then to having my own shop, and then opening a second shop, and now I just do pop-up shops in various locations.
TM: What has been the biggest challenge of your career and how did you overcome it?
LS: The biggest challenge has been reinventing my business–transitioning from a retail store to pop-up shops. It’s hard to make it in retail today with a brick-and-mortar store. The overhead is high, and then there’s the online competition.
I thought the pop-up model could be a great idea. Like a show, it draws its audience by creating demand. It’s not going to be there forever, so it’s fun and exciting.
I had to find vacant retail space with great foot traffic, in a densely populated neighborhood. I then had to figure out the logistics of making the space work, get it set up in a short amount of time, and find people to work with me.
Now that I’ve done it successfully, it’s so much easier each successive time.
TM: What do you most enjoy about your career?
LS: I love the “hunt,” discovering treasures in unexpected places, exploring the history of the pieces I find, and giving them a new life.
TM: Who inspires who and why?
LS: I am inspired by the people I meet along the way. I love meeting people and hearing their stories. Sometimes it’s the person from whom I’m purchasing an estate, and I hear a fascinating tale about their parents and grandparents. Sometime it’s the person who purchases an item from me, and I hear about what they collect and why that’s special to them.
TM: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned about running a business?
LS: No matter how passionate you are about your business, and how much energy you have, you can’t do it alone. It’s important to build a network of resources and create relationships with people you trust.
TM: Can you describe a moment or moments when you stopped and realized this is why you are doing what you’re doing with your life?
LS: Setting up for a pop-up is a lot of work in a short amount of time. I work on it pretty much all day, every day for a month. At the end of one very long and tiring day, I finally sat down, totally exhausted. But then I looked around at what we had accomplished that day and it was just spectacular! My thoughts were, “I love this, I was made for this, I’m living the dream.”
TM: What advice would you offer to other small business owners?
LS: Always be open to new ways of doing business, and don’t ever underestimate social networking.
Join us at The Main for opening night festivities from 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 4 at The Main, a truly unique luxury apartment community.
For more information, or to schedule a tour of The Main apartments, call (847) 450-0115 or visit us online.