Andy & Bill's Plans to Close Doors by October
Andy & Bill's Collectibles, a long-standing antique store on Union Avenue, will close its doors this fall.
Dwight "Andy" Andrews and Bill Smullen say they got into the business of selling antiques after their hobby of collecting them grew out of control.
"It's a fun business," Smullen said.
That's how Andy and Bill's Collectibles, the two-story yellow shop on Union Avenue, came to be more than nine years ago.
"We started off in a small 8-by-11 space in Bel Air and we graduated to this," Andrews said from behind the front counter of Andy and Bill's Collectibles.
The Aberdeen residents, who are also life partners, said they leased spaces in different antique malls and co-ops throughout Havre de Grace prior to opening their own store.
But the downturn in the economy has taken a toll on the antique business, and Smullen said with both men working full-time, and then spending their free time tending to the store, the profits are no longer worth the sacrifice.
"The economy the past three years or more, and the time and energy we put into it, was just more than sales would allow. From a business standpoint, we should have closed three years ago," Smullen said.
With no official closing date set, Andy and Bill hope to liquidate their inventory of antiques and collectibles and close up shop by the end of October.
In an effort to do so, they have discounted everything in the store by 30 percent.
Though the men are certain about closing the store they lease from a Havre de Grace resident, they're hesitant to say they're "going out of business," since they can't imagine leaving the antiques business entirely.
"We don't know exactly what we are going to do yet. We may downsize or fade back into a co-op," Andrews said.
But not without a break first.
"We're definitely going to need a hiatus in between," Andrews said, laughing.
Though their shared love for antiques and unusual treasures was the driving force behind their business, Andrews said it's not the store they will miss the most.
It's the people.
"They all hate to see us go," he said. "These are our customers, but they're also our friends. They're our family."