A family that antiques together
Before owning a local antique shop with her brother, Lyndsey Berglund ran her own business at 18 years old. Everything from toys and teacups to clothes and instruments can be found sprawled out on shelves and display cases at Penny Lane Antique Mall, located in downtown Bellingham on West Holly Street.
Matt and Lyndsey Berglund purchased the mall near Rocket Donuts and Maritime Heritage Park in 2012. There are a range of mostly vintage items for sale including kitchenware, furniture,pottery, jewelry and glassware.
Both Matt and Lyndsey were interested in both antiques and business several years prior to opening Penny Lane.
She ran the store near Old Town Cafe until 2011 when she purchased the Penny Lane Antique Mall with Matt. She said her work at the smaller store by the cafe gave her experience in customer service and merchandising.
Matt also had a passion in antiques, which began in childhood. When he was 10 years old, he would go to estate sales and antique shops with his dad. Matt said he eventually had a booth in the antique mall and sold items there with him.
Not all siblings see eye to eye, but Matt and Lyndsey are able to run the business without getting into many fights.
“I know in other sibling or family businesses people don’t get along, but Lyndsey and I do pretty good,” Matt said, “We agree on almost everything as far as business decisions go.”
Lyndsey also said they get along really well. She said they have a great staff to work with, and she and Matt usually work opposite days, so they are not working side-by-side very often.
“We bring totally different things to the table. He’s really smart with some of the more high-end antiques, more art and [also] pricing,” Lyndsey said.
Matt and Lyndsey own about half of the store where they sell their own inventory, and around 25 vendors rent out the other half, Lyndsey said. The store is over 10,000 square feet, according to their website.
Lyndsey said she became interested in vintage clothing when she was 16 years old. She had a booth when the location was formerly the Old Town Antique Mall. In 2001, she opened her own store near Old Town Cafe when she was only 18 years old.
“All of it was exciting and terrifying all at the same time,” Lyndsey said. She said she had to be careful managing her money and investing in products to sell.
She explained vendors bring in their own merchandise and are in charge of their space. Everything is sold at a front counter, but the individual vendors price items their own way.
Sandra Martinez is one vendor at Penny Lane and said she has been selling items there for five or six years.
Martinez said she always enjoyed shopping for and decorating with antiques along with her husband, and they decided to sell some items to make a profit. Martinez said they sell a variety of items, but like to specialize in mid-century furniture.
“[Matt and Lyndsey] are super fun and easy to work with, and they are good at promoting our things and advertising,” Martinez said.
Martinez said a highlight of being a vendor is when customers come back to tell her about how they have decorated with her items.
“You tend to develop regular customers who come in to see what you have,” she said.
Matt said items are usually from family estates, and they will then give the person bringing in the item a price, tell them a little about it and they can chose to sell it if they would like to.
Lyndsey said even though it is an antique mall, not all of the items are old. Many items are used and appeal to customers looking for affordable decor, she said.
“Anything you can think of is here,” Lyndsey said. “I think it’s catching on more and more. People want to find cool housewares that are inexpensive, and not necessarily antiques.”
The items at the antique mall can vary in price, but they try to keep everything inexpensive to sell items quickly, Lyndsey said.
“We do try to sell things to a younger clientele, so we know that we need to keep our prices as low as possible,” Lyndsey said. The average price for an item is between $10 and $20, Matt said.
The two do not have any plans to expand, but have been making improvements to the space, such as changing the flooring and painting, Lyndsey said.
Penny Lane Antique Mall is located downtown and open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Visit http://pennylaneantiquemall.com to learn more.