— By BRIAN SMITH
It’d be hard to fine a couple busier than Jim and Lori Perz right now.
The couple run a pair of antique and consignment facilities out of A Step Back ‘N’ Time on York Avenue and also after a complete renovation of the Cotten-Bratton Building on the downtown square. The couple moved here from Traverse City, Mich., a small town about four hours north of Detroit, nearly seven years ago because of Lori’s health issues.
The couple had always had an interest in auctions and antiques, having hosted auctions to pay for their son’s Catholic school education by selling things out of a storage unit.
“We were doing Storage Wars years before it was cool and became a TV show, “ Lori joked.
When the couple first moved here, she went back into working at a doctor’s office and he went back into trucking, jobs the couple both hated. The Perz’s began shopping at auctions and estate sales and having garage sales from their home south of town. Jim Perz said they were making around $4,000 a week at one of their sales but the neighbors weren’t very happy, so the couple began looking into sites for their business.
The couple spent more than two years at a building on Santa Fe but continued to hear if they wanted to grow their business, they needed a location on York Avenue. Jim and Lori spoke with shopowner Diana Hayes and asked if she would be willing to sell. She decided to sell her mercantile business to the Perzs and eventually turned over both sides of the business, located at 210 and 212 York Ave., to the couple.
When the couple first opened, people off the street would bring in items to sell in an attempt to get some quick cash.
“They were simply trying to get some money to survive,” Lori Perz said. “We were having people get sent over to us from the local pawn shop and we were doing appraising of some items. The couple also knew they wanted to have an auction style business in conjunction with A Step Back ‘N’ Time, which their son, Westley, runs. They got in touch with the owner of the Cotten-Bratton Building, Rider Scott, who contacted the Perzs in September 2011.
After negotiations, the couple began to renovate the building three months later. The work was long and tiring with Jim doing the “guts” of the renovation, including the wiring and installing a heating and air conditioning system, and Lori doing the painting. Many of the items from the building are still intact, including some Parker County Courthouse records from the 1800s, Jim Perz said.
The couple admits people go back and forth between the two places on opposite ends of the square to find the perfect piece. Jim said he recently unloaded a consignment sale from a woman at 9 p.m.
The couple will be having their next consignment sale July 28. Jim and Lori are also inviting 24 vendors, including custom bunk beds, flowers, and more to use the Cotten-Bratton Building during the Parker County Peach Festival July 13 to sell their wares.
Each vendor will have a 10’ by 10’ space in the 2,500 square-foot facility which will be air conditioned, Jim Perz said.
The couple said they had their first attempt at such an event during the Weatherford Blooms Festival in April, which was a rousing success, which made them want to try it again.
A Step Back ‘N; Time is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter. Call 817-771-7372 for more information.