Andrew Keller of The Ivy Cottage grew up antiquing, an unusual hobby for a child but one that paid off! Keller has brought his immeasurable and unmatched experience to Wilmington.
The owner of three unique and personalized cottages on Market Street, Keller curates and carefully selects unique pieces. And his life is reflected throughout The Ivy Cottage’s antiques.
Growing up with parents in the Air Force, Keller grew to appreciate one-of-a-kind and handed-down items. As a child, he frequently visited antique shops and auctions all over the world with his family. He was captivated by the stories and the life behind well-made yet abandoned items. And he tries to bring that passion to the Cape Fear region.
“We’re positioned between the beaches and the Cape Fear River, the best place to be! I love living and working in Wilmington,” says Keller. One of his favorite parts about owning The Ivy Cottage is working closely with over 9,000 consigners, mostly Wilmington locals.
While attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington in the early 2000’s, Keller worked at The Ivy Cottage under the previous owner, Sam Dunn. While acting as the delivery person, he began attending auctions and learning how to place value on antiques. As a result of his drive and his knack for knick-knacks, his role at The Ivy Cottage grew.
When the opportunity to become the new owner was presented a few years later, it was an easy decision for Keller. Now, he is having a blast sharing this passion and working with the support of his wife and kids. Keller hopes to pass the three cottages and the business down to his children, Aiden and Abigail.
“The best part about working here is that it’s fun! Something new happens each day, and we are constantly saying goodbye to inventory to make room for new antiques,” says Keller.
But Keller knows that he works in an area filled with talented consignors. He attributes The Ivy Cottage’s success to the community he works with. (He says the business mails out over 1,000 checks per month!)
The beauty of housing so many items is that each one is different. People from the community can come search for items they connect with. Inanimate objects can tell a powerful story. Holding a teacup exactly like the one your grandmother used…sitting on a chair that smells like your favorite childhood classroom…holding a silver serving utensil from an old hotel from your favorite vacation… Things don’t just serve humans, they ignite feelings, too. And those feelings, those stories, are what Keller wants to help the community find.
Keller also works to operate The Cottages in an environmentally friendly way. From conscientious packaging and daily recycling, everyone at The Cottages does their part. Nothing goes to waste because The Ivy Cottage recycles their inventory! Anything that is recyclable is recycled, and consignors are able to reclaim their items if desired. With inventory constantly changing, there’s certainly no shortage of items to browse and, hopefully, connect with.
For Keller, being able to translate a childhood memory into a career exploring The Ivy Cottage antiques is a dream come true. He loves that he has been able to share his passion with his family and the Wilmington community.
Visit Keller and his team at The Ivy Cottage at 3020 Market Street, Wilmington for a treasure hunt through the southeast’s largest home decor consignment store. They are open Monday-Saturday from 10am-6pm and Sundays from 12-5pm.