Cortez Street Emporium in Downtown Prescott is a fun antique mall that offers a new shopping experience at every visit! Open seven days a week with late hours on weekends, the Emporium has an amazing variety of antiques and collectibles in its huge collection of ever-changing eclectic merchandise.
Owners Fred and Laura Hughes opened their unique center in August 2010 in the then-closed site of Arizona’s first antiques’ mall that dated back to 1982. Part of the appeal was that the infrastructure and customer base were there—plus the store was slightly more fun and funky than others that were available. They also liked being the closest antique mall to the Courthouse Square.
The Hughes wanted more than just an antique store—so that if an entire family came in to shop, there would be something for every member. Some interior changes, painting and clean up were done giving an appealing and inviting appearance, and another 2000 sq. ft. were added in August 2011.
Fred and Laura had been retired for over 10 years when they decided to open the Emporium. They had lived in the US, England, Wales and France and traveled extensively throughout the world before moving to Arizona. They really had no experience with this type of shop, but they felt that was a positive thing that enabled them to add their own spin on an exciting, one-of-a-kind shopping experience under one roof that might be different from what was currently available.
In addition to their own items for sale, the couple has brought together some of Arizona’s most interesting antique and collectible dealers, merchants, artists and decorators!
Laura says, “We have a bit of everything in the store, or as our sign states at our entrance, ‘WE SELL DIFFERENT THINGS – this and that, one thing and another, all kinds of stuff and more.’ We have antique furniture, period lighting, antique restored fans, glassware & collectibles, military collectables, old tools, neon and vintage signs, old toys, coins, vintage clothing and we have one of the largest collections on Indian/Native American Jewelry in Prescott. We sell so many varied items it is impossible to list them all!”
Cortez Street Emporium offers a fun atmosphere—a jukebox is always playing songs from the 50s and people can be heard singing along or whistling as they shop. And every weekend people are seen dancing in the aisles!
Fred and Laura are both in the store full time and have a fun and friendly group of ladies—Cherie, Diana and Jolene—who help out. Nearly all have had similar stores of their own previously so provide a wealth of knowledge and experience. Vendors are encouraged to price their items fairly and realistically for today’s economy. Layaway is available with adjustable terms according to the customer’s needs with the specific vendors’ cooperation. There is also flexibility regarding pick-up dates since customers may come in to buy a teaspoon and end up buying a sideboard or a table!
The Hughes are very grateful to the experienced, long-time Vendors who have been with the Emporium since Day One, believing that the business would be the success it is today. They also appreciate longtime Vendors who joined once they heard good things about what was being done. And they are thankful to the enthusiastic ‘Newbies,’ who have never done this before and have worked hard to make their booths favorites of so many customers.
They want to thank Jolene Rice of Crowded Attic and Dale Coffey and Bill Swift of Red Lamp Antiques, who all moved to the Emporium when those shops closed. Special vendors, such as Dan and Linda Morris of Antique Accents & Accessories, have provided unlimited help and support as well as John and Martha who decided to give the Emporium full exclusive selling rights in Prescott to their huge collection of Indian Jewelry.
In their personal lives, Fred and Laura have a ranch they manage by themselves that has two horses, two mini donkeys, nine dogs, two cats and a flock of chickens. They manage to enjoy life at their ranch in addition to working at their store 50+ hours per week.
Laura says, “A unique thing about our store/us is that we volunteer for and support a local dog and horse rescue group called The Lucky Club and customers can come in to ask any of our staff what animals the group currently has available for rescue.” She adds, “The Emporium is also dog-friendly and shoppers can bring their “best friends” in to shop with them. We or one of our staff always have at least one of our own dogs in the store with us so shoppers can get their doggie-fix if they have had to leave their own behind.”
Cortez Street Emporium is located at 113 & 115 N. Cortez Street, Prescott. For more information, call 928-541-0077, email firstname.lastname@example.org, visit: www.cortezstreetemporium.com or check out their Facebook page.