There is always something new at Payson Antiques. And for about a year now, one of the newer things in the shop has been owner Don Labbe.
Labbe bought the shop from Elizabeth Crom, taking over its operation last July.
"I couldn't afford to live on retirement," Labbe joked. "And I was bored."
Labbe has been in the antiques business off and on for the past 40 years.
He bought a home in Payson 10 years ago and retired here from Los Angeles about four years ago.
"The shop has been here for about 17 years and has had a very good reputation," he said. "I hope to keep prices low and have a lot of repeat customers."
To help his customers with their purchases, Labbe allows items to be bought on layaway.
With his years in antiques, Labbe has been able to identify some of the challenges he faces doing business in Payson.
"There are some really slow times and some fairly good times," he said. "It's more seasonal here than in other places."
In the busy times, he has to keep up with a variety of requests. Pottery is among the most frequently requested items. The shop carries a variety: Weller, Rose Ville, Teco, McCoy, Van Bregel and Rookwood, to name a few.
To keep the inventory well stocked, Labbe has done some regional buying trips.
"With the popularity of ‘The Antique Roadshow,' everything is worth a million dollars now," he said, admitting there is a double-edged sword to the growing interest in antiques. It brings in more customers, but makes it harder to find bargains on his buying trips.
"We try to keep antique furniture in, but it's not easy," he said.
The inventory started with mostly antiques, but people are coming in and looking for what they consider antiques from the 1970s, he said.
"So, you have to fill in the gaps."
In addition to the antique furniture and pottery, Labbe has glass, Orientals, all kinds of lighting, copper and brass goods and more.
"It's a very eclectic shop," he said.
For visiting shoppers, Labbe said he will ship purchases anywhere. Recently he even sent a table to New York.
The store is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday through Saturday, Sunday hours are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Payson Antiques is closed Wednesday.
Payson Antiques is at 1001 S. Beeline Highway, next to the Knotty Pine Cafe. For more information, call (928) 474-8988.