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It’s a definite gamble starting a new business in this economy. That’s why Shankwiler 123, newly opened in Depot Town, is combining several businesses into one brick and mortar location.
The store, at 35 E. Cross where Real Kidz use to be, is an art gallery, a drop-off location for an eBay store, wholesale stained glass supply store and above all, a great place to buy sports cards and collectables.
“Obviously in this economy, one thing isn’t going to make it so we’re combining,” co-owner Craig Shankwiler said.
Craig, his daughter Michelle and his girlfriend Naomi Rentfrow opened the store Nov. 24, but Craig said he has been selling baseball memorabilia for several years. However, he said he had to open at a storefront because, though, the baseball cards have sold well over the years traders are apprehensive about him selling items from his home.
The baseball memorabilia is the big seller according to Craig.
“We go through about 1,000 cards a week,” he said pointing to a glass display case littered with cards in the front of the store. “That Joe DiMaggio card alone is about $1,000.”
Another of Craig’s passions is glass. Glass bowls, plates and windows are scattered throughout the store. He said he hopes to make more if the business becomes successful.
Michelle said she became involved after she lost her job at a small production studio in Ann Arbor. She said she had run an eBay store for some time and was glad to join forces with her father to help him.
She said one of her focuses is to create an art gallery. Paintings currently hand in the gallery and Michelle is working on finding more artists to display their work.
“We really think it can thrive under the right circumstances,” Michelle said of the storefront.
As a lifelong Ypsilanti resident Craig said there was no question he would open a storefront in the city and he said he thinks Depot Town is a great place to have a store. Craig said he also wanted a storefront because he wanted to wean away from his construction business, Shankwiler Construction.
Shankwiler 123 is having a grand opening reception Saturday from 5-9 p.m.