Collector of treasures

Glenda Barker

Photo By Shannon rooney

Glenda Barker can’t remember a time she didn’t like nosing around in garage sales and finding discarded “treasures,” as she calls them. “I just always enjoyed using old stuff and turning it into something else. I like ‘shabby-chic’!” Born and raised in Chico, Barker did daycare for 20 years before she opened and ran a second-hand shop in Orland for 14 months in 2009 and 2010. Then she decided she would rather have one in Chico, so she opened Auntie’s Attic at the corner of Eaton and The Esplanade in November 2010. Her husband, Tom, helps her collect treasures for the shop, which is open Tuesdays through Saturdays. She also offers a personalized wish-list service, so if a customer is searching for something in particular, Barker will help find it. Contact Auntie’s Attic at 864-7915 or search for it on Facebook.

What do you have in your shop?

An eclectic mix of treasures! I have something for everybody, really—from clothes and shoes to babies and children’s things, all kinds of kitchen stuff, jewelry, living room décor and more. And in my “manly corner,” I have all kinds of tools.

How do you and your husband go about collecting for the shop?

We spend both days of the weekend going to yard sales in Chico. Even on trips we go yard sale-ing.

What is your best advice for people who want to buy at yard sales?

Go early!

What have been some of your more memorable finds?

My grandfather owned Valley Manufacturing Co. and did rice-dryer work. He had these fancy ashtrays, from the ’50s or ’60s, and I found one of those at a yard sale. That was a really big deal to find that ashtray.

What makes something a ‘treasure’?

If I like it. If Glenda likes it, it’s a treasure!

What do you personally like to collect?

The old-fashioned doilies because I used to watch my grandmother crochet them, and I know the time that goes into making them.

How do you use Facebook in your business?

I post pictures of the new merchandise we find at yard sales each weekend. People will see a shot of something I’m selling and call me and ask me to hold that item for them.

How does your ‘wish list’ notebook work?

I have a list with people’s first name and phone number, and I have them tell me what they’re looking for. Then when I go out treasure-hunting, I look for it.