By KEVIN WALKER
SALINE, Mich. — Last week, Doug Supinger was in Round Top, Texas managing an antique show; he said he does 30 such shows every year in order to stay on top of things in the business.
The Round Top spring event is one of the largest shows anywhere in the country, he said. There are thousands of dealers there for the two weeks at the end of March and beginning of April.
Supinger has been in the antiques business for 20 years; he got into it more or less by accident, he said, when he substituted managing an antiques market one day as a favor for a friend. He’s been in it ever since.
This year, Supinger is starting something new again – the start of the Saline Antiques Market. The Saline Antiques Market isn’t totally new, but it’s both a change in a name and a change in management. For the past 44 years the Ann Arbor Antiques Market has had a monthly show at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds just south of I-94 on Ann Arbor Saline Road from April to December.
Recently, though, the people who own Ann Arbor Antiques Market decided to reduce their efforts to April, May and October only, cutting out the other six months. Supinger, who manages the current market, thought that would leave a void; that’s how the newly named Saline Antiques Market was conceived, at least.
It’s Supinger’s baby. The new show will take place at the same location, the months when the current market won’t be there, in June, July, August, September, November and December. “Because of legalities I had to change the name of it to the Saline Antiques Market,” Supinger said. “Basically, it’s the same thing, only with a new name. It’s a transition into a new phase. The customers are used to coming, so why not keep it going?”
Supinger was blunt about why the old market is cutting back, namely a simple matter of economics. “It’s basically a matter of survival,” he said. “They weren’t making enough money in the summer months. Right now, antiques aren’t the most lucrative thing to be in.”
But he said he has some ways he can do the show somewhat less expensively. He has his own “showcases that people need. I have my own tools to keep things at a lower price point than they can.”
Moreover, there’s no sign of a conflict between Supinger, one of the managers of the Ann Arbor Antiques Market, and the other managers and owners of the market. “There’s no conflict at all,” he explained. “If they succeed, I succeed. We’re working together on this one. I hope this works, because I think we’ll all prosper from it if it does.”
The Saline Antiques Market is scheduled for June 15-16, July 20-21, Sept. 14-15, Nov. 17 and Dec. 8 at the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds in Ann Arbor, Mich. It’s located at 5055 Ann Arbor Saline Rd.
For more details, call Supinger at 937-875-0808; or send an e-mail message to firstname.lastname@example.org