Bonnie Lantz turned a hobby into a sideline money-maker, and then turned that into a local business.
Lantz, owner of Sulphur Springs Antiques and General Store located in the VF Outlet Mall, expanded what was a craft hobby into a classy antique store.
“I am a craft lover and have always had a booth of some sort with my crafts,” Lantz said. “I love to crochet mostly, but like to make holiday wreaths as well. I would look at magazines and see ideas and make them and then try to come up with my own as well. Not only do I love to make crafts but I have always enjoyed going to craft shows and festivals.”
After retiring from Hyatt Hotels in 2006, she moved to Northeast Texas to be close to her son, who bought a farm in August of that year and moved here in November 2006. Though she was working for Hyatt on a contractual basis after retiring, the work was limited and Lantz recognized she had to do something to fill her spare time.
“I knew that we needed to do something but it’s so hard to start a business on your own,” Lantz explained. “One weekend, Bryan went to the VF mall in Sulphur Springs, and he went into the Sulphur Springs Antiques and General Store. He thought the store was unique and talked to the owner to see if there was a chance that he may have a booth open for us to move some of our crafty stuff into.
“We started out with silly stuff and that lead to us making some cowgirl signs, and I purchased metal art to get some stuff on the walls. Eventually we moved our booth to the front of the store and we’ve been there ever since.”
Don’t be confused into thinking that Sulphur Springs Antiques and General Store sells beat-up, one-day-away-from-the-junkyard scraps. It is a spacious, well-lit, well-designed space that offers classy, well-kept furniture along with wall art, framed art, purses and wallets, dishes, lamps, collectibles, jewelry, iron works, clothes, bags and even a pool table.
Beds and bedding, sectionals, dining room tables and chairs, end tables, occasional tables and bookcases sit neatly and are well-marked with prices for the shoppers’ convenience. Sulphur Springs Antiques and General Store even offers layaway.
Lantz and her son gave First Monday Trade Days in Canton a try for a couple of years, but decided that there were too many people there trying to sell the same things. Sulphur Springs, they recognized, was the home base for their store.
So, in February 2012, they took over half the store.
“That’s when it began to turn around for us,” Lantz said. “We are so fortunate to have customers from all over the state of Texas — local, Sulphur Springs, Cumby, Como, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, Pittsburg, Winnsboro, to name just a few. But, we are also very lucky to get those customers from Texarkana, the state of Oklahoma and elsewhere.”
People who visit Sulphur Springs Antiques and General Store make it a point of returning to find the perfect lamp, art piece, furniture or even piece of clothing.
“Thanks to all of you,” Lantz said, “who have been a part of making us a success.”
Sulphur Springs Antique and General Store is located inside the VF Outlet Mall, 614 Bill Bradford Road.
Phone number is 903-885-6200.Store hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. most days though they stay open later on occasion. Saturdays, hours are 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
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