Off the Wagon is the future of antiques, primitives

Kelly Berg displays hundreds of items in her Charleston business district antique shop. - Photo by James Mange
Kelly Berg displays hundreds of items in her Charleston business district antique shop.
— image credit: Photo by James Mange

It’s fitting that Off the Wagon Antique Market is located right by the big clock on Callow Avenue, because browsing the hundreds of items for sale can be a major time consumer. In fact, it takes a while after entering the store for your eyes to even settle down enough to focus.

The store is full of antique display cabinets, collectibles, furniture and china, along with a huge offering of unique specialties like vintage noise makers, a bulldog mechanical bank, ship’s menus from the 1930s, a rooster decanter with a set of three shot glasses, a Lady Dover iron and a vintage pogo stick. There are two old gum ball dispensers, one complete with antique gum.

“The gum is probably 80 years old,” owner Kelly Berg said.

Berg opened the shop in early April, and business has been good. “I can’t complain,” Berg said. “Primitives are how I got started, mostly kitchen utensils. I’ve been collecting for years. At first I thought I didn’t have enough to fill this space, and now I don’t have enough room.”

Berg’s space problem will soon be over, as she’s set to expand next month into the neighboring shop now occupied by Claywerks. Claywerks will be moving a few doors north into what is now the Mustard Seed Book Store. Berg will then be able to display many more furniture items that she currently doesn’t have room for. She’ll also be able to display consignment items. “I’m inviting people to rent space,” Berg said.

“I’d been thinking about opening a shop for a long time,” Berg said, “but then this kind of fell into my lap. Amy Burnett owns this building, and she made me a deal I couldn’t refuse.”

Between the antiques, primitives, collectibles, “shabby chic” and country decor items Off the Wagon Antique Market could be the perfect place to find the perfect gift for someone who has everything. Just keep an eye on the clock.

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