Waukesha Antique Mall celebrates 10 years | Waukesha Co. Business News

WAUKESHA — Waukesha Antique Mall, 1427 E. Racine Ave., will celebrate a decade of sweet

WAUKESHA — Waukesha Antique Mall, 1427 E. Racine Ave., will celebrate a decade of sweet finds in June.

John Dutscheck and his wife started Family Heirlooms on Main Street in Waukesha 35 years ago. The couple branched out and opened up Waukesha Antique Mall by Antiques and Uniques, but it was torn down.

“We had to find another building and we did this one 10 years ago. so Family Heirlooms and Waukesha Antique Mall are in here,” said co-owner Penny Olson.

The family members always had a love for antiques and would travel and bring things back to the store.

During the height of the pandemic the business had to close for two months, but when businesses reopened they were busier than ever.

“We’ve been having record years after the pandemic. I hope it is because of the products we are offering and the ambiance of the mall, our reputation and we are family-run,” Olson said.

The mall did some remodeling and added on to the back and side of the store. A shirt shop next door was torn down. Olson said she added 10-12 more antique booths.

The store also has a waiting list of dealers wanting to sell antiques there.

“I have 10 dealers who want to get in here but before I didn’t have the room. I figured if I expanded I would have the room. But now I have another 10 people wanting to get in here again. It is a good problem to have,” Olson said.

They also redid the bathroom to include rustic decorative items and give customers ideas, such as reusing window frames and other items.

“I like to give people ideas of what they can do with things like picture frames, shutters or a door,” she said.

The men’s room has old tools, street signs and the women’s room has a rustic garden look.

“We redecorated the whole thing and I’m proud of it. Who would ever be proud of a bathroom?” Olson said.

A sweet stress release

The store treats customers like family and strives to find what they need.

There is a snack area where pre-packaged snacks are available for visitors.

“We used to give away cookies but because of COVID I’m afraid to do that,” Olson said.

Olson compared the love of antiques to chocolate. She explained that when she feels stressed, she eats chocolate. During the pandemic when people were stuck in their homes they wanted to do something. They wanted to redecorate or make projects.

“I call it their chocolate. They want to look, redecorate or collect,” Olson said. It is a trip down memory lane for anyone who walks the aisles.

The store has booths full of vintage dishes, clothing, toys, and art and many other items.

There is not one particular, popular item people ask for.

“If I knew what that was we would all buy it. For a while everything was jade, then it was primitives or porch things. You never know,” Olson said.

One popular place in the store is Jerry (John’s son and coowner) Dutscheck’s military items booth.

“It is very popular. The guys love it and we do have a few guy (item) booths,” she said.

Customers will also bring in items to sell.

“There are elderly people who come in and they are selling their things. They could be downsizing or a spouse died,” Olson said.

When people come in to sell items, staff is always honest, she said.

“We try to be really honest. Like if someone comes in and they think they want $5 and we look it up and it is worth $100. We will negotiate with them based on that price,” she said.

Olson added that honesty is why they have repeat customers.