A Visit to Downtown Glendale & Historic Catlin Court

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Downtown Glendale and Historic Catlin Court has always been a fun destination for the thousands of visitors who love to explore the unique shops and enjoy a variety of year-round events. Shops, which are reminiscent of the days before malls and big box stores, are surrounded by historic neighborhood homes nestled in mature shade trees. Brick-trimmed sidewalks and glowing gaslights lead to bungalows that now house antiques, vintage, gifts, home décor, crafts, restaurants—and more.

On a recent summer day, I visited four of The Antique Register’s advertisers. Each shop was air-conditioned, of course, providing a nice respite from the heat, making it even more delightful to shop and browse.

Bears & More

Bears & More in Catlin Court is a family owned business run by Valerie Burner and her mother-in-law, Linda Burner. The shop is a play destination for both children and adults!

Valerie said, “Over the years our shop has adapted to the trends. At our core, we are still a collectible teddy bear shop, but we also have a nice variety of everyday stuffed animals and items for kids that require imagination, not batteries. Because of the demand in our area, we have expanded into the vintage market. Our niches are linens, kitchen, and outdoor activity items, with a little bit of this and that thrown in for variety. We also stock needle felting kits and supplies and do teddy bear (and other stuffed animal) repairs. Upon occasion, heirloom bears can also be commissioned.”

It took a few years and some interim moves around the neighborhood before the Burners finally found their forever location in a lovely little yellow house built in the 1940s with a charming front porch and amazing windows that let in a wonderful natural light.

“Linda and I are the main staff,” Valerie said. “She’s been a bear collector for over 40 years and just loves them. She also has been a treasure hunter for antiques and vintage items her entire life. I became interested in teddy bears after marrying her oldest son Coit and I like to collect things as well as learn about them. My current favorites include vintage Disney hand puppets, pink depression glass, little Golden Books, and, of course, Teddy Bears. Coit and his father Russell take care of the property, do all the heavy lifting and implement all the crazy ideas that Linda and I come up with—like the Gingerbread House during Glendale Glitters.”

Glendale’s celebration of National Teddy Bear Day that is coming up on Saturday, September 10 is an important event for Bears & More in large part because of the teddy bear donations to the Glendale Fire Dept.’s Trauma Teddy Program. Valerie and Linda work with a vendor so they are able to sell the bears for just $10 with all proceeds rolled back into more teddy bears. People usually buy the bears onsite and donate them directly back to the Fire Dept. since the bears are new, meet all the fire department’s safety regulations, and because it gives the donors a warm fuzzy feeling. These bears are then given to children who find themselves in scary situations. Over the past 12 years, more than 8,000 bears have been donated to the Trauma Teddy program and other west valley children’s charities. Also during this event, the shop hosts Arizona Search Dogs on its lawn and this is Arizona’s FEMA certified team that gets deployed to disasters, most recently the mud slides in Washington State. The “kids” of Bears & More do a lemonade stand/bake sale with all proceeds going to AZ Search Dogs.

Next April, Bears & More will celebrate its 25th anniversary! To the Burners, this is an incredible milestone that they never thought they would achieve and they feel blessed beyond imagination that they are all here to see it coming fast. They continue to evolve the shop to make sure it stays current and relevant and continue to learn and educate themselves so they can be the best at what they do.

Bears & More
is located at 7146 N. 58th Drive in
Glendale. To learn more, visit www.bearsandmore.com, find the shop on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest or call 623-931-0339.

Spinning Wheel Antiques & Gifts

Spinning Wheel Antiques & Gifts is located in the Cottages of Catlin Court in a two story 1919 brick bungalow at the corner of Myrtle & 58th Drive. It’s the house with the inviting big porch that is overflowing with antiques, vintage items and unique gifts. Registered as a historic landmark, the hominess and quaintness makes a perfect setting for the antiques on display.

Owners Sara and Bob Yarrow opened their business a year ago after retiring from their individual careers, fulfilling their long-time dream. Sara has been an avid collector all of her life and ran an antique shop in Michigan with her mother in the 1970s and 80s. Bob said, “Sara has found this a great way to utilize her creative talents and I have the opportunity to apply my years of business experience in a new arena.”

The couple makes use of the entire first floor with a variety of antiques, both primitives and vintage. They also sell vintage style gifts and hand crafted merchandise. Out the back door is another cottage building that houses “The Barn”.

The Yarrows want to provide a fun shopping experience for their customers, so they can cherish the old as well as enjoy the new. They are constantly learning from the visitors to their shop. Bob said, “It is so rewarding to hear the conversation of our guests, often pleasantly commenting that either they or someone in their family had a particular item. The experience is like a short walk through enjoyable times in their past.”

On my visit to Spinning Wheel Antiques & Gifts, I found an area that was blocked off with some beautiful vintage quilts. The Yarrow’s assistant, Melody Shingler, told me this was part of the “new” merchandise Sara and Bob had found on their five-week picking trip to the Midwest. The great finds that had filled their vehicle and trailers would soon be on display in the shop. The store’s products are ever changing and several hundred items are added each month —and the constantly changing mix makes it fun for frequent visits.

Spinning Wheel Antiques & Gifts is located at 7163 N. 58th Drive. For more information, visit spinningwheelantiques.com, follow the shop on Facebook or call 623-703-2071.

Zola Bell’s Vintage Emporium

If you stop by Zola Bell’s Vintage Emporium on a Friday or Saturday, you will have the good fortune of meeting Charlie, the chocolate lab and the store’s part-time greeter. He gets along well with cats, children and other dogs and is especially fond of belly rubs. Charlie works with four of the shop’s dealers—Bob, Bonnie, Carol and Elaine. The four have a combined experience of 75 years in the business.

Zola Bell’s Vintage Emporium opened in April 2008 on Glendale Avenue and after another interim location, they moved to their permanent home—a beautiful historic building in Downtown Glendale, built in 1919 as a general store. This two-story building has wood floors that creak when you walk around and a stairway up to the second level. The building faces Murphy Park and has that warm hometown feeling.

There is still that old general store feel with an enormous variety and quantity ranging from primitive antiques to current pop culture and everything in between—art pottery, jewelry, coins, tools, toys, military, cameras—and so much more. There are nine dealers with unique interests that are reflected in their merchandise. The dealers love collecting and preserving items from the past and sharing them, along with their knowledge, with those who visit the store. Zola Bell’s motto is, “The most fun allowed in one place at one time.”

Zola Bell’s Vintage Emporium is located at 7003 N. 58th Ave, in Historic Downtown Glendale. Call 623-463-3363 to learn more. The store is open 362 days a year to make sure that customers who come to the Downtown area have an enjoyable experience.

ABD Antique Appraisals & Estate Liquidators

ABD Antique Appraisers & Estate Liquidators’ owner, Elizabeth Dore has been in the antique business for 32 years, originally beginning her career in New England with booths in three different states.

When her husband’s job relocated them to Arizona in 1996, Elizabeth decided to open her own antique store. She told us that she was attracted to the small town, friendly atmosphere of Glendale. She loved the pedestrian-friendly area and was thrilled to locate across from Murphy Park on Glendale Avenue in a 2600 sq. ft. historic building that once was a grocery store.

ABD Antique Appraisers & Estate Liquidators has a little bit of everything—from antiques, fine art, decorative art, collectibles, vintage, estate sale items and more. The shop does not have new or reproduction items.

The business is primarily run by Elizabeth with her husband Mark as her “underpaid help” who will pitch in to help with repairs and deliveries at the store. She has a staff of independent contractors who help when she has a large estate sale to run.

With an art history background and her love of antiques, Elizabeth was encouraged by an appraiser to become a certified antique appraiser in 1996. Her appraisal services include written and verbal appraisals for estate determination, distribution to heirs and legal and insurances purposes.

In addition to the appraisal service, Elizabeth also does estate sales. She enjoys working with the public and helping her clients identify, value and develop market strategies for disposing of their personal items. She provides services over and above the business end and will often turn a client into a friend.

It was a surprise to learn that Elizabeth sings jazz and is on the board of the Phoenix Art Museum League which supports the Art Museum. She sings in a Jazz vocal ensemble and founded the Downtown Glendale Jazz Jam. Go to their facebook page DowntownGlendaleJazzJam for upcoming performances this fall.

ABD Antique Appraisers & Estate Liquidators is located at 5809 W. Glendale Avenue. For details, go to http://abdappraise.com, email medore@mindspring.com or call 623-931-0235.

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