Sunday, March 7, 2021
Chic Antiques Provides a Personal Touch
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Kathie Ballantyne’s Chic Antiques is chock full of a variety of gift and personal items.
   
Thursday, February 4, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTOS BY KAREN BOSSICK

Kathie Ballantyne and her husband Greg have a unique thing going in the shop they share at 30 Gannett Road in Bellevue.

Patrons can drop their car by Greg’s The Car Doctor for an oil change and shop Kathie’s Chic Antiques while they wait.

“Women love it!” said Kathie.

 
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Bernie Sanders’ headline-making mittens from the inauguration don’t have the personality that these do.
 

Inspired by her mother's legacy and love of fashion, Kathie Ballantyne is a multigenerational entrepreneur in the clothing world.

Her grandmother designed clothing for the entire population of a small mountain town in Virginia where she designed dress patterns on newspaper to create fashion for the entire town!

Kathie’s mother carved out her own niche in the fashion world where she ran many dress shops for other people before Kathie opened her boutique.

And, while daughter Kelsea works for Boeing in Seattle, Kathie’s other daughter Carly is training to become a buyer for Backwoods Mountain Sports in Ketchum.

 
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Candles have been popular during the pandemic.
 

Kathie traces her inspiration for what she does back to her grandparents.

“They lived in a town of a few hundred people. My grandfather owned most of the land in town, raising cattle and hogs, planting a big garden and storing it all in underground refrigeration. He donated the land for the town church, and my grandmother did a lot of embroidery. I think that’s where I get my love for making things.

“I was 10 when I started dress making. I loved color. I loved the touch of fabric.”

Ballantyne’s road to Chic Antiques started with antique fairs. She opened her first store as a home and garden/antique store boasting glassware, iron pieces and gardening accessories.

 
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Kathie Ballantyne says beaded jewelry is popular.
 

Eventually, the store’s contents evolved into more personal things, such as clothing, silver sterling earrings and soy wax maroon and light green candles in glass vessels.

“When I came here, I had young kids and all there was in the way of clothing stores was North & Company, which was not so affordable for young mothers. So, I’ve tried to keep my clothing affordable. Chances are when a young girl comes in looking for a gift for a family member or friend, there’s something she can afford.”

Popular items include Ballantyne’s signature jewelry, which started with typewriter keys and old silverware.

“People loved the look of typewriter keys on vintage sterling pieces. People love anything old like that,” she said.

 
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Look for the old Phillips 66 pumps if you’re looking for Chic Antiques.
 

During the pandemic, Ballantyne has started a wellness table featuring essential oils and crystal stones believed to propagate love, romance, harmonic friendships and more.

She offers linens, tablecloths, unique clothing such as Savanna Jane shirts and higher quality sweaters in winter. This year loungewear is popular, thanks to people spending so much time at home.

“I found some unique loungewear that is real soft and comfortable. We’ve sold a ton of pajamas this year with mountain scenes, dog patterns, moose, even camouflage.”

Because of the pandemic, Ballantyne is allowing only three customers in her shop at a time. But she still believes it’s an inviting place for people to visit and fellowship.

“My goal is to empower women and make them feel successful and beautiful—that is one of my greatest joys,” she said.

She’s also very happy helping people to pick out gifts, peppering them with all the necessary questions to figure out the perfect gift for their friend or family member.

Sue Martin can attest to Ballantyne’s ability to help find the perfect something.

“I’m always impressed with the amazing variety Kathy offers in her store,” she said. “She is always very helpful and truly takes time to listen to find out what you’re interested in.”

Such sentiments are music to Kathie’s ears.

“It gives me a lot of joy to know that the things I’ve chosen end up under people’s Christmas trees or as birthday gifts given as gifts of love and that I helped them pick it out,” she said. “And I really love talking with young shoppers. They usually want my opinion, and it’s fun to help them out, talk to them, inspire them, ask what they’d like to do some day.”

 

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