October 28, 2021

Homer woman opens antique shop on Main Street

Katie Keyser/living and leisure editor

Gail Briggs of Homer looks over glassware at her new shop, “Gail’s Antiques and Collectibles,” at the corner of Wall and Main streets in Homer. She is seen here on July 7, her opening day.

Gail Briggs of Homer doesn’t want to waste her time staring at the four walls at home when she could be enjoying herself.

She opened an antique shop on Main Street, Homer, last week.

“Why would I want to sit home and stew when I could be doing something I like to do and be happy, and be surrounded by things I like,” the former school teacher said.

Gail’s Antiques & Collectibles is located at the corner of Wall and Main streets, across from Dasher’s Corner Pub, in the former Oh My Goodness Health Food Store.

She has antiques from the 1890s on to the Depression years as well as collectibles: kitchenware and glass.

Her shop has rugs, lamps, prints, furniture, vintage books, vessels, jewelry, linen and postcards. Some of her prints are what people like, not necessarily valuable.

“Glass is one thing I like the best, and china,” she said on her July 7 opening day.

She loves pattern glass from 1880s and 1890s and china, like Haviland, Spode and Wedgwood.

“I like most everything. I have been doing this for 50 years,” she said.

The former school teacher would spend her summers collecting antiques and items of interest.

Antiques are items 100 years old, made in 1920 or before.

But there’s a range and items could go from older antiques to collectibles, which are not so old, she said.

“At one point, depression glassware was hotter than hot, 1929. Like everything else, it died. The antique business is dead. But I don’t care. This is what I like to do. This is the worst time to open,” Briggs said.

People are required to wear masks, sign in and leave a contact number.

The virus won’t stop people from going to Briggs’ store, Ann Dexter of Cortland said.

Dexter, a former vendor of collectibles and relatable items, thinks young people are showing more interest in antiques, though the market “needs help.”

Briggs was more blunt.

“Today is a plastic throw-away world,” said Briggs. “These things to me are more beautiful, but require care. Today’s young people don’t have time. I clean silver all the time,” she said. It’s a once a week chore.

Katie Keyser/living and leisure editor

A tableware set at Gail’s Antiques and Collectibles on Main Street, Homer

Briggs gets her collectibles and antiques from house sales, other shops and dealers. “People bring me things.”

She used to have an antique shop of the same name for about six years in the same building, but in the back. She closed it in December of 2005.

“My husband (Dudley) needed me to come back home. I stopped. He passed away. It was on my mind to do something… It’s time,” she said.

“I am excited that she’s doing this,” said Dexter. “It’s a revival.”

Briggs has a stellar reputation, according to Dexter. Any time a friend was moving to Florida and needed their house cleaned out, she’d say, “Call Gail.”

“She settled estates for so many people,” said Dexter.

Briggs is honest, neat and clean and nice, she said.

The shop will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

“I think she’s going to do fine,” said Dexter. “That corner draws people, from Skaneateles, Ithaca and Syracuse. People living in Homer will have their friends that come. And when they come, they will eat at Dasher’s, go to Bev & Co., and go to Gail’s store.