A Place to Come and Browse
Off the Cuff with Cheryl Belli of Antiques on Pierce
Antiques on Pierce (1512 W. Pierce St.), formerly located on Second Street and appropriately called Antiques on Second, offers two stories full of unique items to browse through. Chances are there is something there for everyone. But it isn’t the uniqueness of the items that makes Antiques on Pierce so special. It is the experience and service that the store offers that make it stand out from the rest. The owners, Cheryl and Brian Belli, pride themselves on providing the absolute best experience for all who walk in. With the mall’s first-year anniversary in its new location approaching on Nov. 2, Cheryl sat down to discuss its success and what’s in store for the future.
What do you think has made Antiques on Pierce so successful?
I think we give the customers a place to just come and browse. There’s no pressure. Our business thrives on customer service. We greet everyone that comes into the store, every one of us on all floors. And we thank them for coming. Any place you go, if someone doesn’t greet you it makes a big impression. We have always strived to recognize that the person walking in the door, no matter if they spend $2 or $100, is here because they want to be here, not because they have to be here. Because of that service, people will keep coming back.
How do you manage to reach such a broad range of customers?
Our age group is all over the place. It’s really cool to interact with people and ask them what brings them in. We’re getting the 20-somethings, 30-somethings, husbands and wives looking to outfit their new place, fathers looking for birthday presents. And some people come in and say they are just shopping for the sake of shopping. When I choose new dealers coming in, I try to hit stuff for guys, for kids, for women, for everyone. Any dealers that come looking for a space to rent with us, I ask them what they can offer. If I don’t have enough of that one thing that they are offering, I’ll be sure to bring it in because people are asking for it. We have customers who ask for specific things and I will send an email out letting the dealers know what customers are asking for. There’s a little bit here for everybody.
What is your favorite part about running Antiques on Pierce?
I think my favorite part is seeing the people walk in and hearing them laugh. It’s that moment when they never realized they could have so much fun just shopping and suddenly three or four hours have passed. It’s that customer contact, finding out where they’re from and what brought them here. That to me is most important. Learning what it is that keeps bringing those same customers back. That’s what I enjoy the most. I work on the floor every weekend. We are very hands on. The customers see us behind the counter as well as working in the building. That’s important to the customers, to see the owners in the building. I don’t know that you see that anywhere else.
What is in store for the future of Antiques on Pierce?
People have been asking for furniture, which is why we are getting ready to open our third floor. The fourth floor we’ll start working on, and that’ll be an event space. Eventually down the road we’d like to have sales online. I don’t know how soon, but it’s something we want to get into. It can only help the customer. We may be hosting different shows, as well. We have had art shows and concerts in the past. We’d like to do more stuff like that. If you are looking for a building, just let us know. We will show you what we have. We try and accommodate different things. That’s our goal. It isn’t just about antiques. We are very community oriented. You have to like where you are and make an impact. I think that’s what we’re doing.
For more information, call 414-645-9640 or visit antiquesonpierce.com. The mall’s anniversary sale takes place Nov. 4-6; customers can take 20% off any item of $20 or more that is not marked “firm.”