When RoofTop Antiques first came to be, it was literally a Mom and Pop operation - my Mom and Pop, to be more specific. They had always collected antiques and unique items that caught their eye. As a child, I remember entering many antique malls and attending dozens of auctions, but never feeling as though I was being dragged. I enjoyed it. In fact, I loved every moment of it. It became a part of our identity as a family, and I thought that was pretty cool.
It wasn't surprising to me when my dad started selling on eBay in early 2001. My parents had acquired so much stuff that they really couldn't enjoy the individual pieces that they truly loved. So my dad began listing items and sending them out into the world. He was a partner in the family roofing business and spent his days on rooftops, but spent his evenings at home selling online. He hoped to reclaim his basement by clearing out stuff, much of which he had held onto since his childhood. Soon, his project turned into a time-consuming hobby. As his pile of “stuff” dwindled, he developed a desire to buy more stuff. He realized that people were actively searching for things that he had the ability to find. At that point, the basement was more full than it was when he started. Ever corner was full of empty boxes, packing material and more stuff to sell. His hobby had become more of a side business. It was more than he could handle on his own, so my mom joined in the venture. They became regulars at auctions, garage sales, thrift shops and flea markets where they were purchasing items specifically to sell online.
In 2009, the small coffee shop where I was a barista went out of business, and I was seeking flexible employment. My parents had just build an addition onto their barn, which allowed them to reclaim their basement and expand their business. I joined in the efforts and together we quickly filled up the new space in the barn. As time went on, my dad’s ability to work on a roof all day was quickly diminishing. In the spring of 2011, my dad took on two business partners and his side business became his full-time job. We moved into a newly constructed facility, nearly 6,000 square feet in size. Within two years, five additional employees were added to our team.
I am seated next to my parents in the picture above. I supposed you would call me an office manager of sorts. I head up research efforts, create item listings, and handle a variety of special projects. Seated around my parents are my children, Lily and Noah, who have been with our company since its beginning (and their own infancy).
The back row of the picture features our star-studded lineup of specialists. From left to right is Adam, who is another of researchers and listing-creators. He is also a technical resource. Scott is our restoration specialist. He breathes new life into the old stuff that comes through our doors.. Jessica is our "utility player". She can back up any department leader when necessary, and she implements many of our special projects. Bethany is our photographer. She captures the best side of all of our items. Sarah is our shipping manager. With her expertise, we have shipped to more than 60 countries.
As of today, our team has conducted more than 17,000 successful transactions across more than 60 countries. Our mission is to provide a new perspective on old things. We have a passion for rescuing old stuff - modern discards, vintage survivors and treasured antiques - from garage sales, auctions, second-hand shops, barns and trash piles, and recycling it. We seek to help people replace lost treasures, reunite with things forgotten and reminisce about past times.
A business was started years ago, almost by accident. It has been built from the basement up. In fourteen years of operation, we have learned a lot. We know what works and what doesn't. At times, difficult decisions have been faced. We have encountered problems with seemingly no known answers. When there were no ready-made solutions, we figured things out for ourselves. Of course, we are still learning (my dad likes to call it “stumbling forward”). But, we believe that what we have learned can benefit other people on similar paths. Along the way, we have mentored people in our communities, both online and locally. Our dream is to take that to the next level and mentor others around the world. In the same way that we have been recycling old stuff, we hope to recycle ideas and methods. That is how we hope to utilize this blog.
Frankly, I am not fond of monkeys. They affect me the way spiders and snakes affect other people. The flying monkeys in “The Wizard of Oz” and the rogue monkeys in Robin Williams’s “Jumanji” were menacing to me, and I closed my eyes so I wouldn’t have to see them.