Friends Dickert, Bray embark on business venture

Published 9:19 pm Thursday, July 1, 2010

Vickie Dickert and Teresa Bray are good friends.

And, friends are usually advised not to go into business together.

But, Dickert and Bray shun that notion.

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Their friendship is strong enough to weather any storm and, too, they have stepped out in faith.

“We know that God is with us in our business venture,” Bray said.

It was Bray who kind of goosed the idea along.

Both are retired schoolteachers, but Dickert had continued to work part time in the public school system.

“Vickie called me one day and said that her job had run out, but she needed to work,” Bray said. “I didn’t sympathize with her. I believed that God had closed that door so that He could open another one. I said, ‘Vickie, don’t you see that now we have an opportunity to do what we have talked about for a long time. We can follow our dream.”

The dream of the two friends had been to open an antique shop together. And, as it sometimes happens, things began to fall into place in such a way that their dream came true.”

Dickert and Bray officially opened The Marketplace mall on South Main Street in Brundidge on June 25 and, “It’s not the usual antique mall,” Dickert said.

“We knew to be successful that we had to do something a little different,” she said. “We wanted The Marketplace to offer a unique shopping opportunity, and we think that we have accomplished that.”

The Marketplace has booth space available for rent and already many of the booths are rented. The owners also have store booths and several of those have been themed. There’s the Country Kitchen, the Metro-Retro, In the Garden and Verna’s Vintage Closet. Anyone who has a booth at The Marketplace can put items in the store booths. “The themed booths are very popular,” Dickert said. “If a shopper is looking for say, kitchen items, those items are attractively displayed together in a kitchen setting. The themed booths make antique shopping even more fun.”

The Marketplace also has a section that is a World War II tribute display. “We want to have displays of items that are not for sale but are of wide interest,” Dickert said. “And, we’ll also have an ‘artist of the month’ display. This month is the photography of Jehle Flowers. Her work is fantastic. We want to support the community in a variety of ways and this is just one way to do so.”

Bray said for The Marketplace to be successful, she and Dickert must bring new ideas to the business.

“We plan to have a tea room where ladies can come in and sit and visit,” she said. “We hope The Marketplace will become a gathering place for antique lovers and those who just enjoy the fellowship that comes with being in a small town.”

The Marketplace will operate under the same hours that make shopping in big cities inviting. The antique mall will be open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Dickert and Bray are optimistic that their business venture will prosper. After all, success seems to be