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Billings antique mall thanks community for support

Posted at 9:11 AM, May 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-24 11:11:51-04

BILLINGS - Antique malls are another industry built solely on in-person transactions, without a digital space.

Marketplace 3301 is the the biggest antique warehouse in Montana and Wyoming. They sat closed for 5 weeks through Covid19 shutdowns.

"Boy it was just a really long five weeks, and it's scary for a lot of people. This is such unknown territory that we didn't know what was going to happen, but I knew we could count on the people around us," Marketplace 3301's Shelly Turk said.

So when they got the chance to return, Marketplace 3301 in downtown Billings, jumped at it and so did their vendors.

"What was interesting was we sold things online, we had customers calling just to check on us," Turk said.

The Marketplace is comprised of over 100 vendors. For some booths represent their hobby, for others-it's their lifeline.

"It's hard when you're shut down and you can't sell things and still have to pay rent. They're all little small businesses and it affects with us. And every single one of them stuck with us," Turk said.

Some vendors took advantage of the building being closed to the public.

"They worked on their booths and they got them fresh and got them ready for customers to come back and stayed positve," Turk said.

They adjusted to helping people make the best of their time at hand.

"People were painting their houses and they were redesigning and decorating and we started getting messages. I would do all the shopping for them in here by myself and send them pictures," Turk said.

Turk also noticed an uptick in crafting requests.

"We sold tons of paint during all this it was just people were painting and they were crafting and they were creating, and it's kind of interesting because I think people being home, they really started nesting," Turk said.

Ultimately, she said she was very proud of her community.

"People are buying some small thing because they want us, to know that they want us to be successful, and I know they're not just doing it here but at restaurants, and other favorite shops, and I want people to know how appreciative I am that they are cognizant of how much it means as a small business on Main Street America to come in and support us," Turk said.

The Marketplace plans on holding their annual flea market on Saturday, June 13th. It is outdoors, and booths will be spaced out to accommodate social distancing guidelines.