MANCHESTER, NH – What goes around comes around, an old saying that also speaks to our fascination with relics from the past. Josh Wintle and his wife, Jamie, are hoping the public will share their interest in antiques and relics – or whatever they’re looking for – at their new downtown shop, This, That & Everything, 412 Chestnut St.
Step inside and your eye will have trouble figuring out where to focus first – it could be caught by any number of curiosities – from an old saw in the shape of New Hampshire hanging on the wall, vintage toys, tea cups or old vinyl 45s, to hand-crafted conversation pieces – like a bottler-opener featuring an old NH license plate. There is also a coin case in the back, the shop’s bread-and-butter, a throw-back to Josh’s family heritage in the buy, sell, trade business.
His grandfather used to run Mark’s Coin Mart, a few doors down, back in the 1960s and ’70s.
But the main attraction is a little bit of everything and anything, as the Wintles are constantly on the hunt for new or quirky items with value and broad appeal to a New Hampshire customer base.
The couple bonded years ago over their mutual love of antiques and flea market fare, avid collectors who finally took a leap of faith when they set up shop on Chestnut Street in January. Although they’d been talking about looking for just the right space, a fateful drive through the city one day sealed the deal.
They spotted a “for rent” sign just a few doors down from where Josh’s grandfather shop.
“It was an accident, driving by this place,” says Josh. “We were bored, just buzzing around, and just looking at different buildings thinking about maybe one day opening something up, and we saw the sign in the window. I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat to have a shop on the same block as my grandfather’s store?’ So we called the number on the sign.”
“We didn’t think we could do it, because we figured it was out of reach, that the rent would be too high in this location,” adds Jamie. The space had been on the market for about a year and a half, she says.
“Forty-five minutes later we put down a deposit and signed the lease,” says Josh. “This block doesn’t exactly have a reputation for being bustling, but it’s starting to wake up.”
He notes a new barber shop just moved in, plus a new sweet shop, Dulce’s Bakery, is bringing foot traffic, as well as the Arrgh Gallery.
They also happen to be around the corner from the Palace Theatre, Jupiter Hall, and several restaurants, which means they’ll adjust their hours to entice window-shoppers to step inside.
“We just wanted to work for ourselves, be part of our community and do something together that we both love,” says Josh.
“For us it started with flea markets and doing storage clean-outs and auctions,” Jamie says.
“It was a really profitable hobby,” adds Josh. “After a few multi-thousand dollar finds, how could you not get hooked? It was too good to be true. You get high on finding something good. When you score a two- or three-thousand dollar item for fifty bucks and you make a profit.”
He says the rise of Internet auction and buy/sell sites has really hurt the antiques business.
“People see things online and they’re always priced for way more than it’s worth, so when they see something you have and they say, ‘Oh, I saw that online for $500 and you’re selling it for $200?’ I’ll tell them there’s a reality discount – what you see online isn’t realistic. They wash money through eBay and Facebook Marketplace,” Josh says. “We’ve been doing this so long, we know what’s a good deal and what’s not. If there’s something in particular you’re seeking, just let us know.”
“We have a list over there on the door of people who are looking for certain things,” Jamie adds.
“If you don’t like the price of something you see, make an offer,” says Josh. “We’re reasonable people. Let’s talk,” he adds, with a glint of old-fashioned salesmanship in his eye. “We know what we’re into items for. While we like to have a buyer in mind before we buy something, we’re willing to negotiate. Maybe I’ll sell something and break even, and then the person comes back and buys something else, and you make a little money.”
Josh points to a yellowed vintage map of Hillsborough County that once hung at Pine Island Park – one of a few relics of the old park he has for sale. He found it in an attic during a garage sale, under a pile of junk.
“The neighbor was a maintenance guy for Pine Island Park and he took a few things home, and that was one of the things we have – it’s for sale, if the price is right,” Josh says. “Yeah, I’ve got a number in my head – 400 bucks would be the number in my head. One person might walk in and say, ‘You’re out of your mind,’ and another person will think it’s a great deal.”
The Wintles are excited to have a shop in the city they love, and are embedded in the community – they volunteered for five years for ROCA Kidz Club, a faith-based community outreach that provides structured activities for kids, which Jamie ran for four years.
“We’re vested here. It’s our home,” says Josh.
As for all the togetherness, the Wintles are in it for the long haul.
“We’re together 13 years, and this is the first time we’ve run a business together, but we’re always together anyway,” says Jamie.
“We’re partners – we’re in if for life,” adds Josh.
This, That & Everything is located at 412 Chestnut St. Hours are Wed. – Saturday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 -6 p.m. Call 603-203-7736 for more information. Click here to follow their Facebook page.