What started off as a hobby has now turned into a full time business that Indiana Jones would be proud of. Each week the owners of Crooked Creek Farms Shane and Linda Henry search the community for treasures that have been forgotten, as a way to share their story.
Crooked Creek Farms is not the typical antique store. The items on display are not the fine China found at your grandmother’s house, but displays distinct character traits. These traits come in the form of dents, dings and sometimes a little bit of rust. Items for sale in the store are meant to be used, not just displayed.
Since opening a year ago, the store has grown and developed a loyal set of customers. The customers come the three days a week that the store is open to search the new inventory. People will find items that have been brought in from the barns, attics, sheds and homes they once occupied.
“It is really kind of funny,” Shane said. “Linda had a booth at an antique mall here in town and I started helping her as just something to do to kill a little bit of time. One booth led to two booths, which lead to an entire corner. We were at a sale north of McKinney and there was a store that was there and was only one weekend a month. As we were going home I said something to the effect that we do could do that.”
After much talking, Shane was able to talk his stepmother into moving out of the antique mall and into a physical location. Linda told Shane since she works full time as an arson investigator with the fire department, the responsibility of running the store would be his.
“We started with the mindset of once a month that we would be open. As we got a little closer with practicality, wise and finances we got to be open more than that. So we decided to be open every weekend,” Shane said. “We never envisioned this taking off like it did. It took off to the point that we are out picking when the store is not open.”
Linda said while the two of them go to locations and pick separately at times, they do better when they work together. When picking together, it helps them find items that not only have age and character, but also out of the ordinary. One of the most unusual items picked by Shane was a seven foot alligator skin.
Other times it might not be the item that interest them, but the people they encounter while they are treasure hunting.
“One of my favorites was when we were at a pick in a storage building and the lady was like (the item) is back over there. Most of the time we are climbing over stuff trying to get where it is,” Shane said. “As we were going over to this thing the lady yells ‘Careful you knocked Fred over.’ We both kind of stopped and Linda had knocked over an urn, which was her first husband ashes. She said after that “Just set him back up.”
Linda added that the owner of the storage building told her that she didn’t have anywhere else to keep Fred and was leaving him there in the storage building for a while.
Shane and Linda both remarked that some of the places they have picked are homes of true hoarders. Which tends to look like piles and piles of objects stacked on top of each other in danger of falling. While searching these homes there have been times they have crouched to get through a doorway.
The majority of the places they pick at are given to them from the customers that come into the shop each week. A lot of the places they go to are local, but they have driven across the state to such cities as Sulphur Springs and Pairs for a pick. Shane remarked that there are times they leave before the sun comes up and won’t return until it has already set.
When Crooked Creek Farms opens for business each week the Henry’s want their customers to be able to feel the same excitement they feel while they are out picking. They want to share the adventure with them.
“I have a good time doing what I do with my stepmom, but our customers are so amazing. Every weekend when they come in it is like we are reliving the picks all weekend,” Shane said. “They want to know the story of how it got to the store. They want to know where it came from. So we get to talking and relive all the fun that we had all week as we sell it out the store.”
Linda said part of the way that they provide customers with picking experiences is they offer the items they pick at a reasonable price.
“Our most important goal that Shane and I have done from the absolute beginning is to find a good price and pass that good price on. If this item was worth $500 and I bought it for $50 I would sell it for $75. I would not sell it for $300 or $500,” Linda said. “If I get a good deal on it I am going to pass that along to our customers. We work very, very hard at buying at lower price so we can pass it on.”
Shane shared his stepmom's feelings about passing along the experience to the customer.
“When we did our slogan ‘Come Junk With Us,’ you are getting to go out and have that same experience of digging through and finding something that is valuable at a normal price,” Shane said.
Before starting up the business here in Waxahachie Shane served as a director of national fraternity traveling across the country. He said he has never been so happy before and would not go back to his old job.
“If Linda was not a part of this it would not be something that I would want to do. I would not want to continue. The store would not click and work like it does,” Shane said. “I love being in the community that we are in. I can’t imagine being in a city other than Waxahachie. We have had so much support across the board.”
The store is located at 510 W. Main St in Waxahachie. It is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Sunday. Questions about the store can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Linda and Shane can be reached at the store at 214-463-5169. For additional information check out the store’s website at www.510antiques.com or search Crooked Creek Farms on Facebook.