Kathy Schmitt made everything old new again. Owner of antique store Crescent Hill Trading Co. for six years now (it’s been around for 14 years), she was tired of the cluttered surroundings and closed-in feel of the space, so she closed up shop for a few weeks and gave it a makeover. She got rid of the disheveled aisles, which opened up the room, and added lots of color to the walls. And she dusted off her inventory, added some cool new finds (like a bulldog riding a sled), and rearranged everything into a better presentation for the customer.
Now she’s ready to show it off with a Grand “Re-Opening” party on Friday, Jan. 29, which happens to coincide with the Frankfort Avenue Trolley Hop. Her store, located at 2720 Frankfort Ave., will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., and the event will include chili and other refreshments, live entertainment and several drawings for various prizes.
Schmitt tells Insider the makeover was a long time coming, and she had finally had enough. The thousands of tchotchkes — from crystal to decanters to old family photos — appear to have a new life now. And one of her latest finds, photos of the Second Street Bridge being built in 1928, she plans to make into larger prints and adorn the walls.
Schmitt’s life trajectory is as interesting and earnest as the pieces she sells. Once a ruler in the corporate world, she found herself unfulfilled and unhappy. She would take on bartending gigs on weekends and for special events, like Derby, just to break out of the mold of that buttoned-up, polished world. Her husband, chef Finbar Kinsella, had found his passion working at Lilly’s (he’s now at St. Joseph Children’s Home), so she was determined to find hers. And that led her to Crescent Hill Trading Co., where she worked part-time at first to learn how to turn her hobby of antique collecting into a career.
The rest is history, and now Schmitt is looking forward to sharing the store’s new look with friends, neighbors and loyal customers. Before she prepares for the Grand “Re-Opening” celebration, we asked her seven important questions …
What’s the most surprising thing on your Bucket List?
I’ve been to Ireland at least a dozen times, but the next time I have time and money to travel, I want to go to New Orleans with my chef husband, Finbar Kinsella. He’s never been.
What poster was on your wall in junior high?
My sister and I shared a bedroom in the basement of our house. I painted my favorite posters on the cinderblock wall. We had Yes’ Fragile, Led Zeppelin’s Swan Song, Uriah Heep’s The Magician’s Birthday, and a life-size “Godspell.”
If you were mayor, to whom would you give the key to the city?
Hmmm … someone not so well known, like the folks who deal with people on the edge every day.
What are your preferred pizza toppings?
Black and green olives (the real ones — not out of a can), pineapple, onion, mushrooms and anchovies.
If you could be any age for a week, what would it be?
I still think I’m 29, so …
What famous person do people say you resemble the most?
I used to bartend at Sixth Avenue Restaurant, and customers regularly said I looked like Ally Sheedy.
Who would you most like to be stuck with in an elevator?
Me and a bunch of books that are on my nightstand.