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Local couple turns a hobby into a business

TURNING AN INTEREST INTO A BUSINESS — Rachel and Jim Mounts stand among some of the hundreds of antique items found in the new Follansbee store they named for themselves — Two Antique Geeks. Located at 910 Main St., the business is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. -- Warren Scott

FOLLANSBEE — From vintage furniture and glassware to old license plates and business signs, a local couple has applied their interest in antiques to a new business at 910 Main St.

Rachel and Jim Mounts said they named the store Two Antique Geeks because both of them have their own interest in stylish, interesting and unique items from the past.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

As visitors step into the store, they find shelves filled with an assortment of kitchen ware, including Pyrex dishes and locally produced glass items; signs and other advertising materials for beer and other everyday products; doilies and various crocheted items; as well as many other antiques.

A children’s pedal car sits near the front window, not far from a scale that promises to tell “your weight and your fate.”

“We try to keep a little bit of everything,” said Rachel, who likes to dress in clothing from or typical of the 1940s, 1950s or 1960s and play old records in the store.

A Follansbee native and Brooke High School graduate, she and Jim, a native of Washington, Pa., who served in the Marines and Coast Guard, live in Steubenville.

When they aren’t working as a nurse involved with case management and paramedic, respectively, or staffing the store, the two are browsing at flea markets, estate sales and other venues for potential merchandise.

Jim has his own collection of antique advertising displays for various beers and early license plates, noting ones used in the early 1900s often were made of heavy porcelain.

Rachel said pre-1960s furniture in good condition, particularly from the 1950s, are good sellers at this time.

Also popular are items of local interest, and she once salvaged a pair of wood crates belonging to Follansbee’s Lantz Dairy that were going to be burned.

They said they enjoy dealing with potential sellers and welcome anyone with items they are interested in selling but note, as business owners, they must spend wisely.

“We sometimes have to remind people we’re not the guys from ‘American Pickers.’ We don’t have their budget,” said Jim.

Those interested in buying or selling can call (304) 670-6444 for information.

The couple has sold items on consignment and also use Facebook and Etsy to advertise their antiques outside the Tri-State Area.

“We have a lot of people come in from Columbus and Pittsburgh,” said Rachel, who added they have created a flier listing other antique shops to help visitors hunting for a specific item or just planning a day of exploring.

“That’s the nice thing about antique businesses. We all promote each other,” she said.

The store itself is something of an antique, with its wood floors and tinplate ceiling. It has served as home to Ferrante’s Grocery, The Daily Perk and Scavati’s over the years.

The pair sealed the roof, painted the interior and removed partitions to prepare the building for its new identity.

Rachel noted they had the bad luck of opening as the pandemic was reaching the Ohio Valley but have seen a surge in business in recent months.

“I think everybody has had cabin fever and is ready go places,” she said.

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