Archive for Thursday, November 18, 2004

Specialty shop opens in city

Store displays antiques “in their own environment”

November 18, 2004

A Lansing couple are turning their love of antiques into a new Main Street business.

Babe and Grayce's Antiquables opened last weekend at 112 S. Main St. Its owner-operators are Robert and Catherine Fabian, who have lived in Lansing for the past year and a half.

Catherine Fabian said the store features a variety of antiques and collectibles, from Mickey Mouse-related items that date to the 1940s to antique clocks to French Provincial furniture.

Babe and Grayce's is different from other antique stores, Fabian said, in that items are displayed "in their own environment." For example, kitchen items are grouped together in their own display. There is an area in the store furnished as a living room. A toy room shows off such antiques as miniature trains.

"People are able to literally see items in their own environment," she said. "That's really helpful for them to conceptualize where something might go or how it might look in their own home."

The Fabians have a history of selling antiques and collectibles, but they haven't operated their own store.

"We've been to fairs and shows," she said. "Selling antiques is not new to us. Selling antiques in our own store is."

Robert Fabian has been into "antiquing" - scouting out auctions, going to antique stores, scouring want ads - for about 15 years; Catherine Fabian, with five years of antiquing under her belt, is the relative novice in the family.

Catherine said she counted clocks among her favorite collectibles. Why clocks?

"Just the history behind them," she said. "Seth Thomas clocks, for example are just amazing. They each have their own history right inside them."

Each Seth Thomas clock, Catherine explained, included on its inner workings a label with a history about the clock, including its craftsman, printed on it.

"They're just an amazing creation, especially compared to what's out there that's being made today."

As for the name, Babe and Grayce are Robert Fabian's two surviving great-aunts. Babe is now in her 90s and Grayce is in her 80s. They live in Arizona.

"We just loved the sound of their names," Catherine Fabian said.

¢ Babe and Grayce's Antiquables will observe a weekend-only schedule until Nov. 26. The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Beginning Nov. 26, the store will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, plus the weekend hours. Babe and Grayce's is closed Mondays.

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