Two years ago, Lauren and Drew Allen cast off their corporate jobs in downstate Chester County and relocated to Wellsboro in pursuit of making their dream a reality. In November 2019, the couple opened Antiques Around Us, a carefully curated antique store at 31 Waln Street in Wellsboro.
Both Lauren and Drew had a longstanding interest in antiques prior to making it their life’s work. Lauren bought and sold online, had booths in antique emporiums, and was influenced by her Tioga County grandparents, who dealt in antiques. “I guess you could say it’s gone from a hobby to a job,” says Drew. Opening Antiques Around Us has been a labor of love for the Allens, who also purchased an historic local home and are restoring it to its former glory.
“People seem to think there are a lot of antique stores in Wellsboro, but there really aren’t,” notes Lauren. “People have to go to Mansfield. We thought this could be something different in town.”
The Allens carefully stock Antiques Around by buying and selling online and attending yard and estate sales. “We do a lot of walk-throughs,” says Drew. “There’s so much downsizing going on, and we find a lot of our things there.” The Allens do not purchase on the retail market; all items come from a verifiable source.
Antiques Around Us is dedicated to intact, original pieces. “Everything is strictly authentic,” says Drew. “We do not refinish or refurbish. If you want to buy it and do that, fine – but we leave it alone.”
Antiques Around Us offers small furniture, artwork, books and magazines, sheet music, sports and pop culture items, household goods, and vintage merchandising pieces, among other surprises. “We try to sell only pre-1970 items,” notes Lauren. As of this writing, a vintage game wheel greets visitors inside the front door, and a meticulous display of vintage household packaging is on prominent display in the main shop area. Original tin signs and artwork adorn the walls, and a spotless glass case keeps delicate paper memorabilia safe.
In spite of the recent Covid restrictions and its impact on businesses county-wide, the Allens are pleased with the progress and profitability of their shop. “It’s getting busier,” says Lauren. “We just put out a sign on the corner, and that’s really helped! And our online business is growing – it’s almost doubled.”
Antiques Around Us also devotes a small space in the shop to antique dealers Pat and Steve Pifer of Galeton. Drew and Lauren Allen are available to appraise antiques in local homes; interested locals should contact them for information.
Antiques Around Us current hours are Thursday through Saturday 10am-5pm, and Sunday 12-4pm. For more information, call 570-948-9559, email email@example.com, visit Antiques Around Us Facebook’s page, or find on Instagram at @antiquesaroundus.