By ANGYE MORRISON
After 30 years in business, Kim Adams is closing the doors at The Marketplace on 67.
Adams started her business with a rented space in Denmark in the early 1990s. She was employed full-time with the Bulloch County Board of Education at the time, and as she and her husband, Danny, built their new home, which had a farmhouse feel, she knew she wanted to fill it with antiques. She began going to auctions, and yard and estate sales to purchase the needed items. But she soon found that she had accumulated way too much.
“So I rented a place to sell stuff on the weekends; a yard sale, but inside,” she said.
It went well, so she rented the place for a weekend, which soon turned into a whole month. She found she enjoyed what she was doing and after about seven years at the rented space, her husband told her that if she was going to keep going, they should build something of their own and not rent. So that’s exactly what they did.
The couple purchased the land where the Marketplace now sits, and built a 4,000 square foot space to begin, which Adams opened in 1999. She filled the space with her own stuff and some vendors. She soon had requests for more vendor space, so she added another 4,000 square feet nine months later. And, after another nine months, she added the final 4,000 square feet, making the Marketplace’s total square footage 12,000.
“It was like having a baby,” she said of the additions, with a laugh.
Adams says she loves dealing with customers and with people in general. The vendors that she works with — there are about 48 now — generally don’t enjoy that part of the business. So she fills that void for them.
“I love dealing with the customers and the communication and the relationships you get, dealing with them,” she said. Adams says she has gained so many regular customers over the years, but they also get a lot of “travelers,” thanks to being so close to Interstate 16.
Adams can’t say enough about the vendors she has come to see as family. She says she has had “the best vendors,” and she’s enjoyed working with them tremendously. Some of them have been with her since she opened, while there are some who have been there less than a year. She says it was extremely difficult to tell them that she’s retiring.
“Talking to those vendors, it was especially emotional,” she says, getting choked up. “They said they are happy for me, but sad for themselves. It means a lot to me that they are happy for me.”
Some of the vendors have already found spaces in other locations, while some are still looking, she added.
Adams has three full-time employees currently, and four part-time ones, and she says that saying goodbye to them will be hard as well.
“I have my moments,” she says of knowing the end is coming. “I’m not going to say I haven’t cried a few times.”
The vendors will be in place until the end of November, and have marked their stock down with fantastic discounts, which will increase as the days go by. Adams will also mark down the stock she has, and prices have already been reduced, with that percentage increasing as the final week approaches.
But don’t think that just one visit to the Marketplace will allow you to see all that’s available. Adams says she has so much in stock and only so much space to display it, so she invites customers to make more than one trip.
“There will be a constant influx of new things,” she says, smiling.
The property and the building have already sold, and Adams says she has until the end of the year before she has to shut down. But she expects the last week of December to be the final days for the Marketplace. Whatever is left in stock, she says, will be auctioned, sold on Facebook Marketplace, or donated.
She had hoped that she could pass on the business to one of her children. Her son, Cody has been working with her since he left the military. She had hoped he would take the reins. But when she approached him, he said, “Mama, this is your dream. I’ve enjoyed it, but it’s not my dream.”
Adams said she prayed about what to do, and eventually found the right buyer. She had promised her husband 15 years ago when he retired that she would retire “soon.”
“I told him, give me 10 years, and for the last five years, he keeps reminding me that I’m overdue,” she said. But she adds that she also told him, “Don’t get upset if I can’t do it.” After having worked all her life, she’s not sure how she’ll be able to slow down any.
But she is looking forward to having more time for her family. With a retail business and the weekend hours it requires, she’s had to miss a lot of family events — but no more. She plans to be there for it all now. She said she and Danny also plan to travel, and she hopes to be able to volunteer some as well.
Despite the stress, long hours and frustrations at times, she says that owning the Marketplace has been a blessing.
“It was my dream, and I did it, and I’m thankful. But will I be able to really retire? I don’t know,” she said. “Words cannot express how truly blessed I have been to take a hobby and turn it into a full-time thriving business for 30 years right here in the backyard of my own community.”
Be sure to look up The Marketplace on 67 on Facebook, and check out photos of the stock, and news and information on the ongoing sale.