Home Grown: Hamilton’s Odds ’n Ends shop is a family affair
VERONA, Miss. (AP) — George Martin was given a challenge by his wife, Melissa, a couple of years ago — what could he do with $40?
George accepted that challenge, buying a couch and loveseat combination that needed new upholstery.
“I bought some material, stripped the pieces down and was putting it back together when a lady down the street asked me if I do any upholstery work,” George said. “I told him I didn’t do it for the public, and this was more for myself.”
After he was through with the furniture, the same lady returned and bought the set.
“So I turned $40 into $350. After that, it just evolved into this,” he said, motioning at his and Melissa’s business, Hamilton’s Odds n’ Ends on Raymond Avenue.
It is a small variety shop carrying gift items, furniture, appliances and lots of “hidden treasures” throughout the store.
The collection has grown over the years as George goes to storage facilities and bids on the units that are being auctioned. Soon, the Hamilton’s house and garage weren’t enough to hold everything.
“I started getting a lot of little stuff from the storage facilities, and my wife told me I couldn’t bring any more in the house,” he said with a chuckle.
The Hamiltons would have yard sales every three months to help reduce the amount of merchandise, but they hardly made dent.
“I prayed, and God gave me a building,” George said. “So I wound up opening here ... it just evolved.”
The yard sales helped fund the auction bids, and the Hamiltons soon had their building.
George said he’s a fan of “Storage Wars,” learning tips from the A & E television show.
“I got my name on some lists, and whenever an auction comes up, they call me,” he said.
George said that he never knows what will be in a storage unit. Like the television show, bidders are not allowed to look around the unit. Instead, they only are allowed to look from the front.
“I’ve gotten some really good ones, but I’ve gotten some bad ones, too.”
Hamilton checks out storage units across north Mississippi, going as far as Southaven.
“We’ve gotten some units that were owned by some of the elderly, and we’ll just give it back to them,” George said. “I believe you reap what you sow. I understand they couldn’t pay on them, so we gave them back to them.”
Bidding on a storage unit could costs hundreds of dollars — sometimes more — and although returning the units to some of the owners can cost the Hamiltons, they believe it’s the right thing to do.
George said there’s nothing specific that shoppers look for, as the merchandise changes when more storage units are bought and emptied.
Also at Hamilton’s is a dedicated space where their daughter, Kristen, does eyebrow threading, eyelashes, facials, manicures and haircuts.
A cosmetologist since 2012, Kristen said she jumped at the opportunity to be part of the family business. And she also got her chance to decorate the business.
“I’ve always been kind of artsy, so I got to put my touch to it,” she said. Since the store also does floral arrangements, Kristen gets to help with that as well.
“My dad and I work together on that — it’s been fun,” she said.
Information from: Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, http://djournal.com