Starlight Antiques is one of many hand-selected vendors at the Vintage Market Days "Bloom" event coming up April 16-18 at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Learn more and get your tickets here.
Phil and Caren Starr aren’t strangers to the world of antiques. In fact, the couple ran an antique mall in Millersburg from 1992-2006.
"We first started in the antique business when we lived in Cleveland in 1987, when we rented space in an antique mall," says Phil Starr.
With so much experience and expertise in the antique world, it only made sense that the Starrs opened their own antique store, called Starlight Antiques.
The inspiration for such a venture came about from Caren’s experience in the antique business.
"She helped her parents at their shop and grew up doing antique shows and flea markets with them," says Phil. "As she got older she started to buy and sell antiques, she would go to auctions with her dad, garage sales with her mother, and find 'good, old items' to fix up and sell."
Something that started as a summer project for many years turned into a passion for revitalizing the old and enjoying the thrill of the hunt.
Since they first started their venture together, they were renting out spaces from different antique malls and antique shows to sell their items.
Today, Starlight Antiques is located in a brick-and-mortar location in downtown Millersburg, where it’s been for more than 15 years now.
"Caren and I really enjoy having our own store and getting to know our many customers that we meet at the store," says Phil. "We have tried to grow and change with the wants and needs of our customers. We have a large gift shop that is displayed with antique furniture and collectibles."
The Starrs also enjoy mixing new and old together, and showing customers how they can use items just like that in their homes.
"We like old and new industrial metal decor," says Phil. "We also like taking something old and making it more useful today. We try hard to have items that are reasonably priced and that our customers can visualize the items in their own homes."
In the last year, Starlight Antiques had to close their doors for two months, and some of their shows were cancelled.
"We had to reevaluate our business and increase our awareness on social media," says Phil. "When we were closed we did weekly Facebook live events where we sold items from Facebook and Instagram. We had a great time reinventing the way we did business. We enjoyed the curbside pick-up, everyone was so thankful for what we were doing."
Current best-sellers at Starlight Antiques are industrial metal basket, gardening items, tin signs on reclaimed wood, and metal hooks on reclaimed wood. Shoppers are also going for old items that can provide a new use, like gardening container baskets, enamel containers, and bike baskets that hang off ladders.
The Starrs say they are currently loving bike baskets because they have so many uses. "They hang off a ladder or a curtain rod," says Phil. "We usually sell out of these at the shows, and we usually sell out of all the ladders we bring due to the baskets."
Starlight Antiques is busy prepping for the upcoming Vintage Market Days Dayton-Cincinnati show April 16-18. "This will be our second full year with Vintage Market Days Dayton-Cincinnati, and by far, this is our most favorite event we participate in all year," says Phil.
The Starrs say they love Vintage Market Days events. “They bring such a great crowd of wonderful customers, the crowd seems to really enjoy the market and what they find,” says Phil. “We bring extra staff due to the business of this market. It is not our largest market that we participate in, but it is our best and most enjoyable market.”
The items Starlight Antiques will be bringing along to Vintage Market Days Dayton-Cincinnati April 16-18 are unique to the market itself.
"We were able to find vintage grocery carts and have found unique uses for these," he says. "We have a welder who helps out creating unique stands and items out of items we find."
Vintage Market Days "Bloom" event is coming up April 16-18 at the Greene County Fairgrounds & Expo Center. Three barns will be filled with hand-picked vendors featuring vintage, boho, industrial, modern MCM greatness. Make a day of it with food trucks and vendors, live music, a comfortable sitting area, and free parking. Hours are 10am-4pm Friday and Saturday ($10 admission fee) and 10am-3pm Sunday ($5 admission fee). Children 12 and under free. Purchase your tickets early to get an hour of shopping in before the "buy at the door" ticket line is let in. Learn more and get your tickets here.