Business is booming for Ann Craig, owner of Flashback Antiques and Crafts.
A year ago, the Monroe resident opened her business at one of the vacant storefronts in the Mall of Monroe, 2121 N. Monroe St.
This month, she’s celebrating the grand opening of her new location in the mall; a larger space formerly occupied by Hallmark Gold Crown store.
“With over tripling our space, we have many new things including our gaming center lounge and our pop-up craft shows,” Craig said.
The store provides a place for vendors to rent space for their antiques and crafts. Customers often visit the store looking for vintage jewelry, décor signs and record albums. Currently, Craig works with more than 40 different vendors, who receive a weekly spreadsheet of their sales and are paid monthly.
Her focus is to provide her vendors with business coaching so that antiquarians and crafters can turn a hobby into a full-time job. Booth rentals are based on size and vendors are required to sign a contract for a minimum of three months.
Crafting has always been a part of Craig’s life.
“From sewing pillows to woodburning, I have made a little bit of everything,” she said. “Most recently, I have taken to making jewelry, jewelry displays, and art out of driftwood and stones and glass found around Lake Erie.”
With the new space Craig is adding to her business, she is introducing pop-up craft shows and a lounge area for gaming.
The pop-ups will mimic typical craft shows where crafters pay a flat fee for the day or weekend and sell their items. Near the back of the store will be the gaming center where vintage and retro video game consoles will be available for customers to play for a nominal fee.
“We are bringing back the experience of when many of these games first came out,” Craig said. “We will also be running tournament styled competitions as well as streaming the retro games online. As it stands now we will have Sega, Nintendo 64, NES, and even PlayStation One.”
Future plans for the gaming lounge include adding tabletop games and a Dungeons and Dragons night.
Craig has some lofty goals to accomplish within the next five years which includes having more than 300 vendors and expanding Flashback as a brand by selling products online using the store’s website.
As for the space she’s vacating, Craig is uncertain of what may occupy the empty storefront but said changes are happening at the mall including the new arrival of a Mexican restaurant and expansion of other stores.
Flashback Antiques and Crafts
Owner: Ann Craig of Monroe
Location: 2121 N. Monroe St. (Unit 210 inside Mall of Monroe)
Services: Offers a location for vendors to rent space for their antiques and crafts; gaming lounge
This article originally appeared on The Monroe News: Business profile: Flashback Antiques is thriving at tha mall