BROOKSVILLE — At the recently launched Transformed Treasures, shoppers and shopkeepers are profiting from a business model that’s gathered seven small businesses under one roof.
The undertaking also is making the quaint neighborhood where Broad and Jefferson streets meet a destination, where 10 more independent retailers already are selling artisan wares, fashionable clothing, holiday trimmings and serving teacup luncheons.
When Diana and Michael Burmann purchased the 1,800-square-foot Victorian, about a half-block from the crossroads for Distressed Designs by Diana, her refurbished furniture business filled only a portion of the historic structure.
"It was too big for us," said Diana Burmann, "and we thought to add other vendors to rent space for a market."
Selecting other like-minded retailers, the market offers up a department store variety of refurbished furniture and home furnishings, and newly polished collectibles.
"They have been treasures of someone else before they were brought in here." Diana said of her merchandise. "We like the unusual."
From foyer to former sunroom, the emporium is home to Jules Schrader’s Resale Gypsies, Silvana Altieri’s Forgotten Finds Antiques, Maryanne and Rob Caruso’s Turtle Creek, Susan and Jen Mignoli’s Cottage Charms and Marilyn Lavery’s Antique Alley.
"All the dealers have had shops in the past and had high overhead," Diana said. "Many have other jobs. They don’t have to be here." Diana manages the premises full time, with husband Michael on call. By operating together, the dealers cut their operating costs, which translates to reasonable prices for customers.
"We do all the advertising, marketing, event planning. We clerk," Diana said. Furniture is delivered free in-city, $25 beyond. "Buying here instead of online," Diana added, "you don’t have to pay shipping."
Each vendor stages his or her own space, tastefully and artfully accomplished. Staging gives buyers ideas of how to fit a purchase into their own home décor, Diana noted.
Providing fresh ideas for customers, Diana is often at the market’s demonstration table, currently crafting holiday décor from found objects. On a recent afternoon, she selected pages of Christmas carols from discarded hymnals, glued each with framing fabric braid, rolled them into miniature scrolls, beribboned them for hanging on a Christmas tree.
Such crafts are augmented throughout the market by the works of consigning artisans: hand-cut, signed and dated greeting cards by Patsy Webster of Brooksville, $5 to $12; photographic prints of nature scenes by Jessica Hynds, $10 to $20; original stained glass by Kathy West, sun catchers $8; and larger, ornate glassworks, $160.
Diana wants Transformed Treasures to provide a sensory sensation for market shoppers that distinguishes it.
"We make sure everything is clean and we have aromas floating, period music playing," she said. "We want people to pick things up, look for a (maker’s) mark on the bottom, feel things, ... experience what (the vendors) are passionate about."
Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]