A passion for antiques courses through the veins of 79-year-old Marion business owner Nadine Iseli. Her fervor is such that she’s reopened her Central Park Antiques store at a new location in downtown Marion.
“I’ll be doing this as long as I’m healthy and have fun doing it,” she said. “Once you’re involved with the public, it becomes part of your psyche and your being. I missed all my regular customers. They became my friends.”
Iseli and her husband Delmar, her business partner, sold their old building to FamLee Bakery last June, and then opened several consigner booths at Kessler Kreations in Hillsboro. When Iseli recently learned Kessler Kreations was closing out the retail portion of its business, Iseli’s reflex was one of soldiering on.
“I don’t really have a backup plan… I guess I’ll just have to find another place to rent,” she said when Marie Kessler made the announcement in early February.
Giving up and selling out to other antique dealers never crossed her mind.
“They’d be interested if you were giving it away but they’d never pay you what something is really worth,” she said.
It took her less than a month to find a place to rent, relocate, set up, and open March 1 at 162 W. Main St. She wanted a place in Marion because it was closer to her county lake home and she “missed being a part of Marion’s downtown.”
“I have a variety of glassware, scented candles, other antiques, the same type stuff that I’ve always sold; all I needed was a location,” she said. “Now, I’m in the old gas station building by Wagon Wheel in a pleasant, sunshiny little room with four nice windows where the yarn shop used to be.”
Finding a small rental space was central to her business needs.
“A lot of empty storefronts are bigger places, but I didn’t want that,” she said. “If I had opened a bigger place I would have had to take on other consigners to help pay the overhead. At this place, I don’t have to; its smallness fits me.”
She said she had too much inventory to consider calling it quits, and she enjoys antiquing too much for their stock ever to deplete.
“Delmar and I love searching for antiques whenever we travel,” Iseli said. “You never know what you’ll find. There is always something interesting. It’s almost like a treasure hunt.”
She likes searching for things that remind her of her grandparents: Depression era glassware, lead crystal, primitive tools, and archaic kitchenware.
Butter churns and irons remind her of her grandmother.
“My grandma always churned butter and baked fresh bread,” she said. “When the bread cooled enough to slice, we would put fresh butter and a sprinkle of brown sugar on top; it was better than cake.
“My grandpa used to keep a wall full of primitive tools in his shed on the wall. He never used them. He just liked them.”
Her passion for antiques sprang from those memories.
“They did everyday chores with things from a bygone era,” Iseli said. “All of my love for those things comes from them.”
Central Park Antiques is now open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.