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Shopping in Broadneck: The Cape Exchange

Holiday items go on sale early at local storefronts to capture the Christmas market.

Instead of stocking the latest and greatest toys, sets its sights on carrying items you might remember from your childhood holiday memories.

As a retail consignment shop, The Cape Exchange gets items from locals and businesses second-hand. But one person’s discarded items are another person's treasures. Whether it's from the 1950s or the 2000s, store owner Michele Skarwecki aims for a mixed bag of new, used, vintage and antique.

“People will come in, see something that catches their eye and say, ‘Oh, I remember this from when I was a child,’” she said.

Often they’ll find items they had forgotten about, but strong memories can be tapped into by the shape or smell of old antiques, said store employee Sarah Gordon.

“We’ve had people look at something like a tablecloth or a kitchen jar that they must have had when they were very young, and have tears well up in their eyes,” Gordon said. “It’s amazing the amount of emotion that can be brought out by a small item.”

In addition to carrying local items at the store in Cape St. Claire, The Cape Exchange also has an online presence by selling items through eBay and Amazon.

Online holiday sales started to pick up just after Labor Day, said Skarwecki, but the store didn’t start decorating for the holidays until just after Halloween. She admitted that there is such a thing as decorating too early in the year.

“There’s something just not right about having trick-or-treaters and Santa in the same space,” she said.

But some stores race to have their decorations up early because they want to capture those sales as soon as possible, she said.

“I think if you don’t have something out (on display), then some people will pass you by, thinking you aren’t into the holidays,” she said. “And then you lose that sale.”

The Cape Exchange is located at 1348 Cape St. Claire Rd.

Have you ever found a treasure at The Cape Exchange? Tell us in the comments.

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