MIFFLINBURG — Miranda Swartzlander counted among the dozens of vendors at the former Buggy Town Mercantile on Mifflinburg’s east side. Now, she owns the business.
The artisan and antique co-op rebranded as Olde Soul Trading Co., 141 E. Chestnut St. (Route 45), when Swartzlander officially took over on April 1. She’s working to capitalize on every inch of the 12,000 square feet of usable rental space.
Olde Soul Trading Co. is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Monday hours are also in the works.
There are 65 vendors in place. Swartzlander said she’s working toward raising that count to about 85. An outdoor porch area was converted into a display area for seasonal plants and arrangements. She also plans to begin offering vendor-led classes in different crafting techniques.
“We’re trying to bring in more antique people. We do have quite a few crafters,” Swartzlander said.
Swartzlander had one team of contractors working on the roof Tuesday and another painting the exterior of the building. Inside, customers milled about as several vendors tidied up their booths or revamped them altogether.
Swartzlander said she’s leasing the building with a goal of ownership.
“A lot of people come in and say how it is an asset to the town and they love coming in,” Swartzlander said. “And the vendors in here, a lot of them, this is all they do. They love being in a co-op like this.”
Wendy Swanger has a space at Olde Soul for her business, Airy Acre Soy Scents. She offers handmade soy products like soy products and melts. She also sells furniture built by her husband that she finishes herself.
Swanger joined the co-op when it first opened in 2019, just like Swartzlander had. She said the space is brighter and cleaner since Swartzlander took over, and she said she expects a boost in sales as a result.
“I’m happy. I’m not going anywhere,” Swanger said.
Natasha Aitkins is happy at Olde Soul, too. She runs a booth there for her business, The Simple Life, which features farmhouse decor.
“We build and refinish a lot of our furniture,” Aitkins said.
The Simple Life is set up in different co-ops.
Olde Soul has great access in and out, she said, and vendors’ wares stand out to customers immediately upon entry.
“I feel like success, first of all, comes from being friendly with people. Second of all, resetting all the time. Every six weeks or so I just flip this place upside down,” Aitkins said.
For more information including updates on vendor spaces, find Olde Soul Trading Co. online at facebook.com/OldeSoulTradingCo.