Most 77-year-old women are busy enjoying retirement in some form or another.
But Lilly McGill is different.
McGill, a veteran in the antique industry, recently decided to open a store of her own in Elmore. The shop, Lilly’s Antiques & Uniques, is located next the post office downtown and features a variety of products.
“We have a set of very unusual items, just like a general store,” McGill said. “I love to carry just about anything from clothes to spinning wheels to different forms of women's boutiques. We also have furniture, toys, garage-ware, and saddles, among other things.”
|Lilly McGill of "Lilly's Antiques & Uniques"
(Press photo by Ken Grosjean)
McGill, who grew up in Cape Girardeau, Mo., located along the banks of the Mississippi River, has lived in Ohio for nearly 50 years, having settled in Moline in 1966 at the age of 30.
McGill, whose six children attended Lake High School, has 19 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren and is full of vibrancy and energy. It is those qualities that have made her such a successful salesperson. That, and the fact that she loves conversing with and getting to know people.
“That’s what I've always loved about selling things (getting to know people),” she said. “I sold furniture when I was much younger and I got to know the people. I love when people come in and talk to me about their lives. There are so many wonderful people out there. People would tell me their problems. I enjoy listening to them, I’m a people person.
“I've been associated with antiques and collectibles for about 40 years. I love doing a flea market and a show. I’m now opening my own shop and I'm looking forward to that,” she said. “And I've always wanted to have my own shop. I'm 77 years old; I’m too young to retire.”
According to McGill, who was the manager at Riverbank Antiques in Pemberville for several years and previously sold furniture at Montgomery Ward at the Southland Shopping Center in Toledo, there are items located in the front that draw the attention of both men and women – things like saddles, spinning wheels and card tables. There are a number of other items located throughout the store, including furniture, tables, chairs, jewelry, handbags, hats, stoneware, china and glassware as well as some pictures and prints.
McGill credits her grandmother with helping to teach her the art of bartering during the 1940s. She recalls how her grandmother, who lived on a farm, would take milk, butter and eggs and head to the town’s general store and return with other products.
Needless to say, McGill is excited about what the future holds.
“I've always wanted to have my own shop,” said McGill, whose daughter owns Gale’s Party Shop in Gibsonburg. “Mostly, I missed not being with the people. It’s been a few years. I haven’t worked for about three years and this is the first time I've owned a shop. You’re never too old to start something.”