Reaching for the Stars
Old Things New in Calabash was a fresh start for owner Cathy Breeden.
Cathy Breeden was a Tennessee resident and Bell South retiree in 2011 when she and her husband, Randy, bought a second home in Little River. They enjoyed the area so much they made Horry County their full-time home and sold their house in Tennessee.
Cathy had worked for 10 years at other telecommunications companies after her 30-year employment stretch at Bell South, but she wanted a change of pace. She and Randy had always been attracted to the idea of being small business owners, so they looked into the details.
They started doing craft shows along the Grand Strand, selling their woodworking and home-furnishings pieces. That worked out well, but it meant time setting up and breaking down their displays for the few hours that each craft show lasted. The Breedens then rented space as a vendor in a store and later moved into a different store.
With that success, Cathy and Randy decided to reach for the stars and open their own shop. It was a desire they’d had for years, and they found space to rent on Beach Drive SW in Calabash. On April 11, 2018, they opened Old Things New, naming their 500-square-foot shop as a reference to 2 Corinthians 5:17 which says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”
“Randy was super talented with painting furniture and creating wooden décor, and we filled our shop with those items plus other one-of-a-kind home-decor pieces,” Cathy says. “Having our own place was a dream come true for Randy and me, and locals liked our unique items.”
Then two things happened. Shortly after their 45th wedding anniversary in June 2019, Randy passed away from cancer. In March 2020 the shop closed for two months due to COVID-19.
“These were major challenges, naturally,” Cathy says, “but I knew that in helping to start the shop Randy left me with a lasting legacy, and so with the help of my employee, I forged ahead.”
Cathy notes that because of the increasing population in the area and the summertime visitors, she’s seen an increase in the number of customers stopping by her shop. Saturday is the busiest day of the week and afternoons are busy, too. These days Old Things New focuses mostly on coastal décor, and she has added some modern farmhouse decor.
Old Things New has a few vendors who sell their artwork in the shop.
They carry Bates Goat Milk Lotion, which is quite popular with repeat customers. Rinse roll-on essential oils and Peppofoot stick and spray for dry heels and toes, the company’s No. 1 seller, were added to the displays recently as well. They also sell handmade jewelry plus some other jewelry choices.
Cathy says gift items and fun items are what customers like for the most part. One item people like is GurglePots, fish-shaped beverage pitchers that make a laughing sound when the water or iced tea is poured into a glass — “they’re definitely conversation pieces!” Cathy says. So are the large wooden turtle and capiz shell art.
Cathy rotates the merchandise frequently, which makes each visit exciting.
“In talking with other small business owners, I’ve realized how important being flexible and adaptable is especially in these challenging economic times,” Cathy says. “Changing times requires new ideas and business strategies because what customers want today may not be what customers want six months from now. At my shop, bringing in new merchandise is key.”
Want to go?
Old Things New
10138-8, Beach Drive SW, Calabash
Facebook: Old Things New, Calabash
Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm