Thirty Years in Old Town Orange

Check out our latest article from the Orange Review, reprinted here!

It’s crazy to think about, but here at Country Roads, we are celebrating our 30th birthday this January! We are officially all grown up!

In all seriousness, we don’t know if our founder Sue imagined her shop still being here all these years later when she first opened the doors on January 1st 1993, but we hope we are making her proud. Thirty years is a long time to keep anything going, and in looking back over that time, a few reflections or observations stand out.

If you stand in one place long enough, you sure can see the world change! Old Town Orange has changed and grown a lot over these past three decades. That’s life, of course – we wouldn’t appreciate the little things if nothing ever changed, right? But still, sometimes it’s pretty unbelievable to look at old photos or think about what was once here and there and is now gone. The bustling community of today is of course wonderful, but sometimes we sure do miss those old days of the slightly quieter town where parking was readily available!

Another sobering realization is that ‘relativity’ of time and what makes something vintage. For example: when we first opened in 1993, mid century modern wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now, in part because it wasn’t seen as all that old; something from the 1950s was, after all, only 40 years old in the 1990s. Now, as good Gen X 90s teenagers of that era, we loved mid century antiques, and they seemed plenty old to us! Flash forward thirty years, and not only is mid-century modern highly collectible and harder to find, but the ‘kids today’ are all about things that at old to them, which, brace yourself, is of course all things 1980s and 1990s! This may or may not cause us to silently scream “HOW CAN THAT BE OLD IF WE WERE ALIVE THEN?!?” on a daily basis. The math adds up, but it’s a bitter pill to swallow! This isn’t to say that we really consider 80s and 90s to be all that ‘vintage’, but it is to speak to how much things can change when you’ve been slinging antiques for three decades…including yourself!

If our time in business has taught us anything, it’s that a shop is more than a shop. It’s never just about the products or the place…it’s about the people that come with it. Families have been formed here, we’ve watched generations of kids grow up, and lifetime friendships formed. We know our regulars and their stories and their pets and their families, we laugh and cry with them. And that is, cheesy as it might sound, the biggest blessing and lesson of all.

Our mom left us not just a shop, but a legacy, and a family. That was one of her greatest gifts to us – this community of people… of weird, quirky, funny, awesome people that all are bonded in their “love old junk”. We couldn’t have dreamed of a better legacy to continue.

We are throwing ourselves a birthday part on Saturday January 28th from 10am to 5pm, and are inviting everyone! More details to come, but it’s gonna be a fun day to celebrate this big anniversary.

Thanks for all the years of love – it’s been an honor to be a part of the OTO community and we look forward to the years to come!

PS: If you have any photos or stories from our shop over these years, we’d love for you to share them – we’re working on compiling it all together for our website over this next year. You can email us any photos you have!

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