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Preserving our history

BySandy Lowe
There’s more to the antique business than you might think.

 Do you have too much stuff? Are you ready to simplify your life? Christine Brockman can help you with that by holding a Living Estate Sale to pare down your belongings. While she’s helping you she’ll also be running her antique store, The Last Remains, and is an appraiser working on her continuing education through the International Society of Appraisers.

 Christine spent her early years Nebraska. She attended high school and college in Lubbock. Even though her dad had a full-time job, he also functioned as an entrepreneur, selling hatpins, feather bands, novelty items and antiques. “The last thing I wanted to do was that,” Christine says. But things change.

 Five years ago, her partner, James Brooks, was working
with a company “flipping” repossessed homes. “They were often full of furniture,” Christine says. “I started selling it on Facebook.” She also sold items from an 8’x10’ booth at Crossing Flea Market. She even traveled to visit her dad and brought back his inventory of novelties and antiques to sell.

 “One of the companies I worked for went out of business,” Christine says. “While I was on unemployment I took a course from West Texas Innovation Network. I’d done book keeping and marketing for years but I learned a lot.” Soon she rented a space on 860 Hickory Street from a friend and opened the store. “We decided to rent it for six months to see how it went,” she says. The business thrived and in six months Christine bought the building.

 “Everything in the store is pre-1980,” she says. “I love the Civil War era and primitives. It’s like a museum but everything’s for sale. We say we have what grandma didn’t give you.”
 The planned name for the store was “C and J” for Christine and James but Christine decided she wanted a cleverer name. “I called my dad,” Christine says. “He said ‘I’ll give you one I almost used,’” and The Last Remains went on the sign. Christine’s dad passed away just before the store opened.

 Serving families through estate sales is Christine’s favorite part of her work. “What I enjoy most is helping a family so they can move on,” she says. “Also, I don’t stop learning.”

The Facebook group, Last Remains Auction, is still a busy part of the business. Christine posts items for bidding. Winning bidders come to the store to pick up their merchandise, which drives traffic there. She has done some limited advertising and is about to release her first TV commercial.

Christine still has some requirements to meet before she is fully accredited by the International Society of Appraisers but she has already put what she’s learned to work. She recently recognized a painting worth $15,000 at an estate sale. Even though she just turned fifty she is one of the youngest people in her field in Abilene.

 As a history buff Christine loves to connect antiques to their origins. She recently bought a metal pot that had been used in a Colorado gold mine and purchased by a previous owner in 1960. Through research she found that it was made in Chihuahua, Mexico and eventually tied back to Billy the Kid’s bank in Brownwood.

“I can’t wait until I die and meet these people,” Christine says. “I have a few questions like ‘where did you find this?’”

We are located on historic Hickory Street in Abilene.   Our store is nestled in a qaunt neighborhood and the building used to be the neighborhood laundry mat or washateria. 

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Antiques & estate liquidation, LLC

The Last Remains

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