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.