Time’s Tin Cup is one of those places you can spend hours browsing, yet still have many things you missed…and that’s what makes it so special. Now completely settled in their new location on Main Street, we wanted to chat with Laurel, the owner, and get to know more about her and her business.
For those who aren’t familiar with your shop, please describe it in a few sentences.
Time’s Tin Cup Vintage Emporium is a unique vintage gift shop where I offer a trove of antique & vintage treasures as well as unique new gift items that nod to the past. The shop is, in its essence, a shelter for precious things until they find their new “forever home.”
What inspired you to open up Time’s Tin Cup? And is there a story behind the name?
My shop is the realization of a long-time dream and an opportunity to meld my passion for history, art, architecture, books and so much more into a concrete environment that I can work in daily. At my shop at 410 Main Street I share this eclectic array of art, gifts, antiques, artifacts, trinkets and books with a growing community of explorers who love digging for treasure. When entering my emporium you experience a dizzying display of unique objects hanging off of the ceiling, unique boxes and bottles, antique pottery, jewelry, vintage curios everywhere and things squeezed in between.
The shop name is drawn from time and is truly representative of what I often refer to as “the “soul of the stuff” within.” The name combines the image of a tin cup an artifact from days of old: Artists would use it to mix turpentine and linseed oil as a painting medium. Then, during the Depression era tin cups were used to “beg for a dime”. Of course, clocks are the quintessential representation of time and the shop’s logo grabs ahold of both of these images. Truly, it’s all about time and place.
You recently moved to your current Main Street location – how do you like it?
I love my new location. My shop has been in Boonton now for eight years. When I first opened, I was on upper Main in a tiny shop. The shop grew and grew from one location to the next. Now, I am in a perfect space! I am back on Main in a beautiful newly renovated building. I love that the unique vintage feel of the space was kept. I have been told that my shop actually held the Post Office at one time. It works beautifully with my inventory.
If you weren’t a shop owner, what would you be doing?
My original business model integrated my studio and my shop. I am an artist and work with mixed media. I am currently working with wool. I integrate discarded wool clothing, buttons, merino wool and array of other found materials into works of art. Now that my shop is much smaller, I have had to move all of my art supply’s home. If I didn’t have the shop I would busy myself in my studio. I also love to read.
What is your favorite bite to eat in Boonton?
Sushi House for sure. I am a Sushi addict!
What tips would you give an aspiring new small business owner?
Boonton is a wonderful town. There is so much exciting new growth. The next five years in town are going to be very exciting. I am on the Boonton Main Street board and overwhelmed at the number of exciting projects in the works. Opening a business now in Boonton is an investment that needs to be cultivated. The one thing that I think new businesses fail to realize is the importance of promoting their shops. You cannot rely on walk-by traffic only. It is very difficult to sit in the shop all day and have no one come in. So, use the many avenues for self promotion available in todays marketplace. Business owners have to reach out to find and connect with their customers and discover new ones.
What do you see for yourself and your business in the next few years?
I have been building my new online shop www.ttcvintage.com. In my e-shop I will eventually have much of the brick and mortar shops inventory catalogued and for sale. My local customers will be able to peruse my catalog prior to visiting and order things that they want for local pickup. I also will ship most anywhere.
But really, LOL, I have no idea how I see myself in the next few years. I am hoping that perhaps I can find a couple of people who love my shop as much as I do that can help me out so I can eventually have some time off. I imagine, I will retire one day. However, I can’t imagine a more entertaining and wonderful way of spending the day as to sit in my shop and talk to the wildly diverse array of customers whom I have grown to know and love. Many antique dealers work into their 90s. Perhaps I’ll be one of them–