Napa vintage: Antiques on Second celebrates 20 years, expands shop – Napa Valley Register

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Jennifer Smith, owner of Antiques on Second at Second and Franklin streets in Napa.
Antiques on Second in Napa recently expanded into a former stamp store space. 
Don’t let the old sign fool you, Napa’s Antiques on Second just added 30% more retail space. 
Vintage swizzle sticks, $1 each, at Antiques on Second in downtown Napa. 
Jennifer Smith, owner of Antiques on Second at Second and Franklin streets, knows how to celebrate.
The downtown Napa business turns 20 years old this April, and Smith marked the occasion by knocking out a wall to expand into the space next door, which was recently vacated. The business is now 30% larger, allowing her to show even more vendors.
“Lola Manning, who started this business, wanted to expand into the suite next door, and so did Molly Silcox, who owned the store until I purchased it three years ago. It’s been a dream to do this for 20 years.”
Smith bought the business from Silcox three years ago, and as soon as the next-door neighbor retired and closed her shop (JHM Stamps and Collectibles), Smith scooped it up.
Smith has been into antiques as long as she can remember.
“My mom and grandma used to drag me to antique fairs when I was a little kid.” She loved it, and has been going to estate sales, flea markets, and garage sales, “Oh gosh, since the beginning of time.”
She was a regular customer at Antiques on Second and a stay-at-home mom to her five children.
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“I had a lot of 50s kitchen stuff, vintage clothing, accessories, and books I’d collected over the years, and approached Antiques on Second about selling it,” she said.
“I started with a shelf space about 15 years ago.” That “shelf” became her own section in the store. She continued to buy inventory and took over two more spaces. One day, Silcox said, “Want to buy the store?” It didn’t take Smith long to say, “Yes.”
Jennifer Smith said she’s wanted to own her own store since she was a young girl.
Why the love affair with antiques?
“It’s the allure of a bygone time,” Smith said. “I love the glamour, beauty, and nostalgia of the past. Stuff was well made then and aesthetics were important. It’s much more interesting than most things made today. Plus, it keeps things out of the landfill.”
She adds that her house is not a 50s house, despite that being one of her favorite eras.
“I’ve got a pink wall phone, but it’s not even hooked up anymore.” It’s always been a big topic with her children and their friends.
Interest in antiques changes from time to time, and it’s strong now. Smith says that her customers defy characterization, and are extremely varied in age, income and interests.
“Younger adults, who are all about recycling, appreciate the quality and beauty of older things.” There are price points for everyone.
“You can spend one dollar or thousands.”
Antiques on Second features styles such as boho-chic, MCM, shabby chic, Asian, the 1920s, country primitive, and more. They also have a giant record collection and vintage clothing and accessories.
“We carry some manly stuff, tools mostly and sports memorabilia,” Smith said with a laugh, “but this is more of a women’s place.”
Many locals have been regulars since the store opened. Weekends can be 50-50 locals to visitors. “Out-of-towners are constantly complimenting the merchandise and the merchandising.”
Antiques on Second currently has 28 vendors.
“They are the greatest. They made the move so much easier, painting and helping to complete the expansion.”
Smith also got unexpected help when a Napa High woodshop teacher, who was doing the flooring installation, saw the vintage soda counter.
“We pulled the old linoleum off the wood base of the counter and he said, ‘This would be a great project for my students.’” The students (Graham Gongora, Kaleb Matulich, and Stephania Barrientos Sosa) reinforced the wood base and replaced the vinyl.
“They did a fantastic job, far better than we would have, and I am very grateful.” 
Antiquing as a family love is being passed on to the next generation.
“My daughter started with her own shelf several years ago, and today has a beautiful space featuring Asian artifacts. My second oldest daughter started a sports memorabilia space and my son helps out with estate sales,” Smith said with the look of a proud mom.
Antiques on Second is located at 1370 Second St., across from Grace’s Table, and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
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You can reach reporter Jennifer Huffman at 256-2218 or jhuffman@napanews.com
Get the latest local business news delivered FREE to your inbox weekly.
Take a look inside Napa vintage shop Antiques on Second. The collective recently expanded and is celebrating 20 years in business. According t…
Jennifer Smith, owner of Antiques on Second at Second and Franklin streets in Napa.
Antiques on Second in Napa recently expanded into a former stamp store space. 
Don’t let the old sign fool you, Napa’s Antiques on Second just added 30% more retail space. 
Vintage swizzle sticks, $1 each, at Antiques on Second in downtown Napa. 
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