In an unassuming corner of Homewood, a storefront is festooned with lawn furniture and garden statues that snake around the side of the building. Walk into Tricia’s Treasures, and this sprawling antiques store is at once cavernous and maze-like with antique treasures, vintage oddments, folk art, timeworn furniture, beautiful lamps and rugs, enthralling art and strange curios. Owner Tricia Thomas often sings to herself at the front desk or chatters with her coworkers, but the gentle babble of the shopkeeper and staff drifts away as you meander further into this rabbit-hole of a store, a veritable museum of lost treasures that seem to whisper of an intriguing or charming past.
Nooks and crannies are filled with delightful surprises, from vintage glove boxes, reclaimed door knobs and a Mahjong game to beautiful hand-painted tea sets, baskets of all shapes and sizes and a taxidermic water buffalo. As you wander through each room, you might pass opulent gilded-framed mirrors and tapestries that conjure the splendor of Louis XIV’s court, or a set of colorful, vintage leather decanters that evokes an equally vibrant image of the drinker who once filled them with spirits. Or perhaps you’ll come upon familiar serving ware that takes you back to your grandmother’s kitchen table. In Tricia’s Treasures, not only will you discover a unique piece that speaks to you, but you’ll also unearth hidden corners of your imagination or awaken your inner interior designer.
This 35-year-old antiques store is designed to resonate with everyone who walks in. “We have high-end, middle-end and low-end. We try to have something for everyone, and that has worked for me. And we do have every kind of customer you could possibly have — motorcycle jackets with sideburns down to their chins to very high-end ladies and smart decorators to really strange folks seeking out one-of-a-kind oddities,” says Tricia. “I also try to have the best prices in town, and I think I do. I found out a long time ago that you can’t get rich doing this, so you might as well sell it for a good price, so you can go get some more.”
And it’s the “getting,” or the “thrill of the find,” that drives this collector to curate such a diverse collection. Tricia describes the passion that drives her and her kindred spirits in the antiquing world, saying, “It’s ‘the find,’ the thrill of the find. It’s the anticipation of what you’ll find next. And I love to buy beautiful things, wonderful things, unique things. I am a buyer. Selling is a necessity; buying is a love, a guilty pleasure. I’d buy 10 times as much if I didn’t behave myself!” As a cutting-edge antiques dealer, Tricia has many relationships with pickers, relationships that she guards like highly coveted trade secrets. She says the best pickers are the ones who understand you, what you like and how much you want to pay.
“My most fabulous picker ever lived in West Palm Beach and had access to a lot of fabulous things. I bought almost everything he would bring,” says Tricia. “I drove my 14-foot truck down there every time, by myself, which some people find a little odd. We would meet in the back parking lot of the hotel, back our trucks up to each other, and he would take all of his stuff out piece by piece and I would write each one down. That night, we would go to our respective rooms, and I would put a price by everything. The next morning he would come to my room, bring me hot tea and a bagel, and he would bring his coffee, and we would sit down at the table and write our numbers down and put our hands over them and would turn it over at the same time, because we joked that we were afraid we would cheat each other. We were very close on price most of the time, and we did that for a long, long time. Then he got very sick and passed away. He was 10 years younger than I am, and I miss him so much. I adore that man. We were just really good friends.”
And it is those relationships that Tricia values most about her 35 years in the antiques business. Whether she is singing at the front counter, joking with her staff, shopping from pickers-turned-friends or visiting with longtime customers, Tricia is a self-professed people pleaser. “I can honestly say that we love our customers, and we spoil them. I also love these people that have worked with me. They have worked with me for a long time,” says Tricia. “We have customers that come in here all the time and tell us that they come because it is so happy and fun, because everyone is always laughing. It’s just an eclectic shop where you can have a laugh and find a treasure if you want to. We have the good, the bad, the ugly, and that’s just our employees!”
Tricia’s Treasures is located at 2700 19th Place S. in Homewood. Hours are 10:30 a.m to 5:30 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. For more information, call (205) 871-9779 or visit triciastreasures.us.
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