Equestrian shop opens on Main St.

TACK IS HER TRADE

September 02, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Yet another consignment shop has opened on Westminster's Main Street. But Horse Traders isn't selling the usual array of antiques or collectibles.

Used saddles, bridles, blankets, riding apparel, tools and other equestrian accessories are among the wares on the walls and shelves at Horse Traders, which opened three weeks ago at 38 W. Main St.

"There's a great need for a store like this," said owner Carol Beall, who lives in an apartment almost directly across the street.

"New tack is so expensive. We don't have anything like this in the area. People are very willing to trade. There are people who don't have time to put an ad in the newspaper and deal with people.

"They're very willing to come in here and deal with me," she added.

The shop occupies a building formerly used by the Ladies' Exchange (now next door) and Union National Bank, where Mrs. Beall's father-in-law used to work.

"I like this area," Mrs. Beall said about the store's location. "I call this consignment row. I think the store fits in with the other antique and consignment stores."

Len Joseph, treasurer of the Westminster Business Association and owner of Diversified Blueprint Services in Westminster, said the proliferation of consignment shops along Main Street reflects the sluggish economy.

He said consignment shops require less investment for owners and provide bargains for money-conscious consumers. Mr. Joseph said Horse Traders fits in well with the other consignment and collectible shops.

Mrs. Beall said her investment has been minimal. She and her husband, Vernon Beall Jr., a construction supervisor at the University of Maryland Hospital, built shelves, cases and counters and designed the layout for the store.

"The biggest investment has been time," she said.

Mrs. Beall receives 25 percent commission on tack and related accessories. She receives 50 percent on clothing. Besides selling used apparel, Mrs. Beall also is selling locally designed T-shirts and riding helmets.

So far, business has been brisk, Mrs. Beall said. Before she opened the store, she ran a newspaper ad for used tack and received more than 200 calls.

The store is Mrs. Beall's first business venture. She previously worked three jobs: selling tack and jewelry at different stores at Hunt Valley Mall and selling advertising for a free monthly newspaper published in Baltimore County.

"I had a choice," she said of deciding to open a business. "I could drive all over creation and try to make money or invest my own money. I knew this would work. This is the first thing I've done in my life that I feel really good about."

She certainly has the background. Mrs. Beall, who calls herself a horse shoe-er, visits county farms to shoe horses, has been a trainer and gives riding lessons.

"I still shoe and take on riding lessons," she says. "I don't have time for training."

Mrs. Beall plans to sell hair- and leather-care products, new halters and lead ropes. She also can special order.

Horse Traders is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

4( For more information, call 751-6481.

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