It was an antique auction 30 years ago that got Micki Goetsch hooked on “picking.” She fell in love with all the elaborate pieces—each engulfed in some piece of unique history—being prodded and poked and sought after by the crowd. She did some research and started an antique booth but it quickly reached capacity. The only thing left to do was prop open the doors to her dream.
Arbor Antique Mall opened in April 2002 on South Margin Street in downtown Franklin. Derived from an 1800s barn, a 1920s grocery and two old homes, Arbor is packed with stories of old Franklin. The shop leaves no nook or cranny uncovered, with 5,000 square feet of items ranging from an ancient tea caddy to a vintage Pepsi sign.
“Arbor Antique Mall is a place for everyone—no matter what your taste, there’s something you will like,” Goetsch says. “Each dealer is hand-picked and the best in their particular area.”
The mall is made up of 26 vendors, all with varying specialties that spiral from primitive to elegant pieces. One room is decorated in shabby chic burlap pillows, while its neighboring merchant has plastered the room with old advertising material. There’s even a specific area for men to shop while their spouses look around, and interesting items with old hunting gear, boating memorabilia and other masculine “stuff.”
For Goetsch’s customers, it’s the history behind each piece that’s so compelling—both for him and her. The shop’s uniqueness is what draws people in, whether it’s for high-end English furniture, advertising collectables or painted barn finds.
“It’s the old history and character that talks to you,” Goetsch says. “New stuff just doesn’t have that. You wouldn’t be able to find most of this anywhere else.”
But the savviest shoppers come for the high-quality estate jewelry. Goetsch’s jeweler might sift through hundreds of pieces to find the right ones. She says it’s a near-daily occurrence for a man to shuffle in, looking for the perfect engagement ring, the shop’s bestseller.
“We sell a lot of memories,” Goetsch says. “People buy it because they remember something their grandmother had just like it.”
As a Franklin resident for 26 years, the Texas native couldn’t imagine being anywhere else. She loves the beauty of this quaint little town and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
“I have traveled extensively and haven’t been able to find a town nicer than Franklin,” she says. “I’m blessed to be surrounded by the best dealers and people I could hope for.”
Stop by and see her at 202 South Margin St., or visit arborantiquemall.com.