Thanks to the life lesson she learned from her mother before she passed, Belinda Jones has taken a new step in life — the opening of First Street Antiques in downtown Princeton — in a storefront her mother frequented years ago.
“I happened to find a building that had been foreclosed upon and it sort of came about because my mom said something to me before she died. … She said that life is kind of short and, you know what? … You only get one chance at it. … She said you really have to start following your dreams because you never know. … So, I decided that when I found the building, that I would … invest in the building and open an antique shop.”
That storefront, located at 507 First St. in Princeton, has many of its own stories.
“I kind of wanted to open a store in memory of my mom. … My mom, when we were kids, the store used to be Kapsner’s Drug that had this little gift shop. She would go in there and buy bone China animals all the time,” Jones said.
Finding the right space at the right time also played a role in Jones’ decision to purchase the property. She said many people have helped her not only make the decision to open a store but also to form the vision of what it would be.
Jones credits her business partner, Patrick Roehl; her son, Corey Jones; and her realty agent, Paul Jackson of Hewitt Jackson Real Estate in Milaca for helping the store become a reality. She said Jackson helped her locate the right place and then Roehl, her son and the contractors helped her figure out the interior remodeling work.
“They helped me realize my vision,” she said.
Jones isn’t new to the business scene in the Princeton area. She works a job, helps her father manage a business and has dealt in antiques from home for the better part of 30 years. But the opportunity to move into a space of her own in the downtown area was what she really wanted.
The purchase of the building was made official a couple of weeks ago, and Jones didn’t waste any time in beginning to make changes to the property.
Jones said the work has included changing all the lights, erecting walls, mudding, painting and installing new carpet, among other tasks. She plans to fix the roof and the back wall of the space this spring.
In describing the business operations, she said: “It will be a multi-vendor store with mostly antiques, … more of them upscale antiques, … but antiques in general. We’ll also be doing consignment and I’ve got some ideas to do further down the road, but at this time I haven’t implemented them.”
Jones also said that the opening of the business has been targeted for March 13.
The lifelong Princeton resident noted the business also has a website – www.firststreetantiques.com – and is on Facebook as First Street Antiques. Jones said there will be online auctions conducted in the store via the service K-bid.
In addition, Jones said her goal would be to work with other area antique shops to pull together group promotions where each could highlight their own properties.
But first things first at the First Street business: “We’re working hard to get up and moving,” Jones said.
Store hours beginning March 13 will be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. For more information about First Street Antiques, visit the store online or call 612-987-0221.