PHOENIXVILLE —Looking for that special one of a kind gift? Perhaps a 1920s phonograph player or a retro mini refrigerator?
Recently, Phoenixville native Isaac Brown opened up Steel Eagle Antiques and Auctions, a collectables shop. Located on the 100 block of Bridge Street, the shop features a wide array of unique items including antique jukeboxes, rare toys and video games, records, and firearms from the 1800s. The shop also features modern artwork by local artists.
“There’s a lot of opportunity here in Phoenixville and I really wanted to hopefully see if I can help it,” Brown said.“The town is on the cusp.It has the opportunity to flourish and I want to be a part of that.”
Brown always had an interest in collecting things as a child, and his interest grew while sorting though his grandparents’ estate. While going through that process, he met Garrod Taylor, a third- generation antique “picker” and dealer. Taylor owns and operates an antique shop in California. Brown and Taylor decided to go into business together.
“After doing a lot of buying together, he suggested we open a shop here since we were buying so much stuff and sending it to California,”said Brown.
Early on, Brown decided to not limit the store to just antiques. He describes the store of more of a collectables shop.
“When you hear antiques, you think of dusty furniture,” Brown said.“If an item is five years old or fifty years old, we’ll try to sell it and find a good home for it.“
As far as a target market, he intentionally designed the shop to attract as many different people as possible.
“I’d like to think I have something for almost all generations and all types of collectors,” he said.
There are several different sections within the store. There is a vintage camera section, and a toy section complete with Simpsons toys, geodes, crystals and rocks sparkle from display cases. Other items found at the shop include a vintage set of golf clubs and a rare Pac Man video game table, where you sit down to play.
There is also an impressive western section with vintage leather saddles and several different models of early firearms, including an 1873 Winchester gun known as “the gun that won the West.” Taylor and his family own one of the largest collections of Colt firearms in the world, Brown explained.
Finding merchandise for the shop is an adventure in itself. Brown goes “picking” at estate sales and follows up with leads from Craig’s list. He also deals with “walk-ins”, people coming to the store to sell him things, which has led to some very unique items for the store.
“Pre-electricity pieces of machinery I always find fascinating,” said Brown.
There has been a fairly quick turnover of goods.
“The time to buy something that you love is when you see it. You might come back and it might not be here,” said Brown.
There are also modern pieces of art on the walls of the store, in all different sizes.
“When I had the idea to do this store originally, it wasn’t necessarily antiques,” Brown said.“I went to Kutztown University, which is a huge art school. There was tons of woodworking, jewelry making and fine arts. I thought, if I could just bring all the creative people I know together and give them an outlet in one place to sell their stuff, I think it’d be really popular.”
Brown added, “It kind of came together when I met Garrod with all the antiques. He had a truck load of stock that he could start me out with.”
Auctions will be held once a month in the back space of the shop and will be open to the public. Each auction will feature themed items such as movie memorabilia. Different items in the store will also be up for auction, and there will be silent auctions for customers to bid on through the week.