Featured Shop - Heirloom Appraisals and Sales, Barrington.If you need fast money there is a good chance you have some hidden treasure in your house, and it's not the change between seat cushions. Heather Alexander of Barrington has started her own appraisal business, Heirloom Appraisals and Sales, specializing in vintage and antique clothes, jewelry, accessories and home décor. Alexander's mother, Linda Dawson, was one of the first appraisers for PBS's "Antiques Roadshow." Alexander works from home and travels to the home of her clients.Why open an appraisal business now? People are looking hard and fast for ways in which they can get fast money because of these hard economic times. I know that hidden away in most homes is a big box of grandma's costume jewelry that most people give to their kids to play dress up. What they don't know is there's a lot of money hidden in that box.What kind of items are surprising people because of their value? Vintage is very hot right now. Anything 20 to 50 years old is considered vintage and it's very, very trendy. It's all part of the "living green movement." People are keeping clothing, old accessories, shoes and hats out of landfills and reusing them or selling them.Do you collect? Yes, I have my own site on Etsy. I am an avid yard-sale scavenger. I often find myself pulling the seller aside to tell him or her to remove the 50-cent price tag from their 14K stamped gold bracelet. There are secret symbols that indicate if a piece is gold or valuable. One thing a lot of people don't realize is that a book without its copyright is most likely a collectible first edition. How much do you charge for your services? I always do a free consultation first. I will meet with the client to determine what services they need. Some people want research done on some older items and others just want to know the fair-market value for something to raise fast cash. The fees vary with the needs of the clients.Lazy Drives, Autumn PicnicsHead out and enjoy the fall colors and let Holderness General Store, 863 US Rte. 3, Holderness, be your destination. This little gem along the shore of Little Squam Lake is a blend of old-fashioned general store (penny candy, gourmet products and gifts) and high- end deli (popular sandwiches include chicken pesto panini; apple, brie and maple syrup; and goat cheese, roasted red peppers and kalamata olives.) More importantly, the Holderness General Store is home to Nutty Granola, an all-natural cereal featuring oats, almonds, walnuts, flax seed and grains all lightly tossed with local maple syrup ($5.99 for 8 oz. bag). Nutty Granola is now being distributed to specialty stores throughout New England. New flavors including chocolate and coconut are coming soon. The store carries fresh-baked pies (key lime for $13.99), gourmet cheeses and lovely wines. Visit www.holdernesscountrystore.com or call (603) 968-3446.Fall into Wool PlaidsBecky Oh!, 344 Orange St., Manchester, is the place to find head-turning, eye-popping, finger-feeling, fashion-forward fabric handbags. Designer Becky O'Neil is an artist who combines form and fiber to give functional handbags a one-of-a-kind look. New York stylists shop here for their "oh so private" clientele This fall look for a line of plaid wool shoulder bags accented with rich suede handles in several over-the-shoulder styles - perfect for dressing up a winter coat or large sweater. The new Becky Oh! Bridal Collection made from fabulous silks and other blends features several styles from wristlets to clutches for both the bride and her attendants. Custom orders always accepted to match the wedding colors. Visit www.beckyoh.com or call (603) 624-9707 to visit the studio by appointment.Must-wear Shoes?If you have to wear shoes, head to Alec's Shoes, 201 Main St., Nashua, and pick up the hottest new shoes of the year - a pair of Vibram FiveFingers. The next best thing to going barefoot, these shoes are like gloves only for the feet, complete with little slots for the toes. "We can hardly keep up with the demand, the most popular shoe is the Vibram KSO, which means keep stuff out," says store manager John Kerouac. Alec's Shoes is a family-run Nashua landmark known for its great selection of shoes for the whole family and superior customer service. Check out the second floor where you'll find amazing markdowns on brand-name shoes, including Cole Hahn. Visit www.alecs-shoes.com or call (603) 882-6811.
This article appears in the October 2010 issue of New Hampshire Magazine