MONROE – A Hidden Treasure offers rare and classic items worth thousands but sold for hundreds or less.
For nearly 19 years, the store has greeted guests with smiles, care and a welcome bell. The business allows people to buy and sell valuables. The store sells antiques, clothes, furniture, jewelry, autographs and first-edition books.
A Hidden Treasure is the brainchild of owner and ‘captain’ Scott Ely.
After facing an injury, Ely realized he couldn’t perform regular tasks at his construction job and was out of work for a time. Ely said instead of moping and becoming broke, he decided to start a business.
The business started as a craft and consignment store back in March 2000; however, after the first month, it quickly became something else.
“People were passing the crafts and only paying attention and buying the collectibles,” he said.
Assistant Manager Holly Yeakley said they find products in different ways.
“Because I work all the time, I have made relationships like he [Ely] has over the years, with people on the other side of the U.S, people who are on the West Coast.” Yeakley said. “And they will go to sales all the time. They’ll message me about what I need and want.”
Two of the vendors, retired teachers David Helms and Robert Hinson, have contributed significantly to A Hidden Treasure, by buying and selling one-of-a-kind possessions, such as a signed Charles Dickens novel and an Ernest Hemingway autograph.
According to Hinson, the childhood friends were always collectors, and because of their chosen fields of interest, history, literature and museum studies, it’s easy for them to see what’s truly valuable.
They launched a business called Unique Collectibles on Feb. 1 inside A Hidden Treasure. The pair specializes in essential documents, letter, photographs, autographs and artwork of famous people.
They expand their collection with extensive research and existing relationships.
“We seek out people, specifically elderly people, who had a pretty impressive life,” Helms said.
For instance, they became good friends with Freida Roos Van-Hessen, who just celebrated her 103rd birthday. They bought her book, “Life in the Shadow of a Swastika,” after she signed two or three copies for them.
“This is the number one place for collections and antiques,” Hinson said. “People would make a killing off of this stuff, but they don’t know about it. It’s really A Hidden Treasure.”
Want to learn more?
A Hidden Treasure is located at 200 S. Stewart St., suite A, Monroe. Call 704-226-1263 to learn more about A Hidden Treasure and 704-577-8625 for details about Unique Collectibles.