Crazy Mule Arts and Antiques
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday
Where: 258 Anderson Circle, Alto
More info: 770-530-5911
Nestled just below the mountains in Habersham County, a store is filled literally from top to bottom with antiques and art from local artists.
Each individual space is decorated differently, part owner Wesley Jackson said. And seeing many antiques in one place and stacked so high might be considered crazy, but not for the owners of Crazy Mule Arts and Antiques in Alto.
Jackson and his wife, Michelle, opened the antique store a year ago with Steve and Amy Saxon.
“All of us have a passion for antiques,” Michelle Jackson said.
To fuel that passion, the foursome found a spot off of Ga. 365 in Alto and put up walls of aged white pine a few weeks later.
“We started with the front half and got it full of vendors and then we opened up the back half,” Wesley Jackson said. “We filled it up with vendors in probably two months.”
With every corner and wall, high and low, used to show off goods, vendors find some of their items being placed on the porch. And for most customers, it is where they begin their journey through the market.
“It’s the first place people look when they come in,” Wesley Jackson said. “It’s a lot to take in visually.”
But to catch potential customer’s eyes and lure them to the store in the first place, the Clermont man placed an old military jeep with their signs near the highway. The jeep, which is not for sale, has customers and admirers taking photos with it all the time, Wesley Jackson said.
Interacting with their customers also allows the Jacksons to meet new people from across the country and continent. Some are from Canada as well as from New York to California.
But just like any establishment, they have their regulars.
“Sometimes they buy and sometimes they don’t,” Wesley Jackson said. “They just come in and talk sometimes.”
One regular is Daniel Bremer and he comes into the store several times a week.
“I come in and look and see what they’ve got new,” he said. “They get new stuff all the time.”
Bremer said he buys too much and his wife thinks he’s crazy for the stuff he finds. But he likes the store and its owners.
“They have a quaint place,” he said. “I like the decor. You don’t find a place like this in most places.”
Once they step into the store, customers see a potpourri of cast-iron ware, coins, tools and furniture as well as pottery and paintings from local artists. Some pieces date back to the Civil War.
Not only does the store offer antiques and art, some vendors make homemade soaps and construct new things out of old items such as lamps out of metal gas cans or strainers.
With so much to offer, the owners aim to keep costs low for customers.
“We try to have prices that are reasonable,” Michelle Jackson said. “We’re not a museum. We are a store. So we don’t want to have museum prices.”
However, rare pieces are pricier.
For customers who are always searching for the one item they can’t find, the Jacksons and Saxons will help them as best they can. The owners jot down notes about the item being sought and inform their almost 30 vendors to be on the lookout.
“We want to help people with finding what they are looking for,” Michelle Jackson said.