SPRING HILL — Suzanne Herman would hop in her car on a Saturday morning, and hours later her husband would hear the garage door open.
"He broke out in a cold sweat," she recalls. He knew a fresh load of "collectables" was at hand.
"We've never had a car in the garage," Herman admitted. Translation: No space for one.
Herman's tasteful stash, picked from 50 years of estate sales, auctions and garage sales, composes the offering at Fun Findz, 11171 Spring Hill Dr., which opened in November. The first-time entrepreneur describes her wares as "vintage," "collectibles," "good quality."
"I can't say I just collect one thing," Herman acknowledged in understatement. The assemblage ranges from signed American Indian wall art, to French Limoges china, Jim Shore, Hummel and Norman Rockwell figurines. Then add in some wild animal replicas, antique furniture, grandmothers' costume jewelry, musical instruments, porcelain-headed dolls, crafts supplies and more.
"I want everybody's eyes to just go into overload," Herman said. Gathered in a mere 818 square feet of floor space, the whatnots' arrangement overcomes a look of clutter.
"I love (the collection). I want to meet the people who love it, too," Herman said. "I always wanted a store, to have fun. I play store every day.
"I'm not out to make a million dollars. Just so it covers the rent."
Her goods are less costly than online — she checks regularly — so buyers can even resell items at a profit, she suggested.
Prices start at $1 for an antique loom bobbin. Others include an antique Victrola record player for $125, wall art from $20 to $50, and branded figurines from $12 to $30.
What's selling well?
"Oh my goodness, animals," Herman said, "giraffes, elephants, frogs, turtles, dolphins." A 7-foot wooden giraffe for $100 grabs the eye.
"He comes apart, so you can get him in your car," she pointed out.
Second-most popular? Craft supplies, she said. Her grouping includes yarn, vintage buttons, rubber stamps and crafting papers.
Tucked into a strip plaza just off the Spring Hill Drive-Mariner Boulevard intersection, the site is a busy location, Herman said. The shop is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, phone (352) 593-0804.
Just as Herman's fun finds accumulated over time, she hints to prospective customers, "it takes a while to go through the store if you really want to see everything." Follow-up visits are fun, too.
As one or a half-dozen items sell, Herman has inventory replacements — a garage full.
Contact the writer at email@example.com.