By Tegan Kraklio
A new business has come to Wilton, and the entire city came out to say “hello.” At least, that’s how the owner of the new Across the Tracks Antiques and More store sees it. Surrounded by antique toys and cameras, marbles and stamps, furniture, Fiestaware and a cast iron stove, Kathy Mahoney gratefully expressed her surprise and pleasure at such a welcoming community.
“It’s so refreshing here,” she said. Her son Chris Harrod, who also works at the store, said city hall, the chamber of commerce, local business owners and members of the community all visited, “within hours of opening.”
As a family business, the mother and son are seeking to connect with customers and make them feel at home. Mahoney said that even if they don’t sell anything, talking to the customers is wonderful.
“I try to buy low so I can sell low. I don’t want my customers to be regretful of their purchases,” she said.
“Everyday someone wants us to buy something,” Chris Harrod agreed. “It saves us from having to go picking.”
Both have been in antiques for a while. Mahoney started collecting cheese boxes when she was around 16 and her son grew up watching his father collect marbles.
“I wasn’t sure if he had paid attention as a child, but he did!” They said their knowledge of antiques is different but complementary, and both are on the same page about it: they simply love making use of old things or giving them a new purpose, and each item tells us something about our past.
“You either have a love for what brought us here, or you don’t,” said Mahoney, pointing out a steam trunk, and other items of historical significance. “It’s like stepping into a time machine.”
Both Mahoney and Harrod expressed affection for Durant, where their shop was previously located for six months. Mahoney said they loved their old building, but they just weren’t getting enough business.
“Our last month we sold nothing,” she said. “Plenty of people came in and looked around or wanted us to buy from them. But you can’t maintain a business that way.”
When they began to look at Wilton as an option, the business strip on Fourth Street caught their attention.
“It’s every business owner’s dream to have a store on the corner. It’s like the drugstore feeling,” Mahoney said. When a friend told them about the new location she said, “we said yes before we even saw it!” They worked hard and got their store moved over in less than a week, and were glad they did.
“We were overwhelmed with the openness of Wilton,” Mahoney said. “It made us feel like we were supposed to be here.”
The Across the Tracks Antiques and More store is located at 324 Cedar St. on the corner of Cedar and Fourth in Wilton. It is open for business Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., or by appointment at 563-506-6617.