Business a trip back in time

Published 3:26 pm Monday, April 5, 2010

Do you like old stuff — collectibles, antiques and junk?

Roxann Hardin of Peddlers of the Past, located on U.S. 31 in Alabaster, has lifelong experience in the field.

In Texas, her mother had an antique business. Hardin’s husband Bill, sister Tanya Yeager, daughter Melissa Shields and Andrew Hartley (Melissa’s fiancée) all are involved in the business.

The old brick building in which the business is located was originally the Southern Bell phone exchange and then, the American Red Cross Center.

The building looks small but runs from room-to-room with more than the eye can take in. Wall-to-floor displays are everywhere.

More than 20 vendors have their specialties displayed. There are candles, art, shabby chic, primitive items, furniture spanning several decades, books, kitchen cupboards, old signs, pots, washer-wringer machines, saddle holders (made to order), leather works, upholstery and furniture refinishing (done on the premises), fine china and Fenton glassware in amber, ruby red, milk glass, pink, blue, lavender and green.

Whatever you can remember from your childhood can probably be found in this treasure trove.

Hardin is a very pleasant, interesting and well-informed saleslady. People bring lots of stuff to her from their basement or attic. She and husband Bill attend auctions, do eBay, estate sales and Craigslist.

There is usually a special emotional attachment or memory with many of the items that are for sale. My mind surely took a stroll through my Mother’s and my Grannie’s house.

Gift items and special-occasion items are readily available. Be sure you have plenty of time when you go. It’s addictive to shop here.

Peddlers of the Past has been open just more than a year, so the reputation of the business is still growing. Hardin calls herself an avid, professional plunderer. Her passion is people. Having cheated death five years ago, Hardin is very happy to be surrounded by her family of four children, seven grandchildren, her 50-acre home place, horse and dogs. Her family is close, her job enjoyable and challenging, and her beliefs are “Kindness to the extreme” and “Thank God for each day.”

Sandra Thames writes a weekly column for the Shelby County Reporter Reporter. Contact her at