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Couple juggles full-time jobs, ownership of small shop

March 15, 2005|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - For a number of years, Julie and Bobby Watson have been looking around for a business opportunity they could go into together.

Regular customers at A Place for All Seasons in downtown Funkstown, the couple rode by the shop last fall and noticed a "For Sale" sign out front.

"We found it on my birthday - Oct. 4 - so I knew it was meant for us," Julie Watson said. "There was even a house out back that went with the deal."

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Bobby Watson said they jumped at the chance and bought the property, moving into the house just behind the 1890s-era shop.

A Place for All Seasons has been in operation in Funkstown for about five years. The Watsons said they are planning few changes although they might add some product lines and branch out into antiques later in the spring.

The shop at 27 E. Baltimore St. has two floors of country and primitive furniture and decorations.

Popular candle brands include Keepers of the Light and Bridgewater. There is also custom Country Manor and Keystone furniture, custom Dianthus draperies, redware pottery, world pewter, Bennington items and Rowe pottery.

The shop hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

"Starting in April, we hope to also be open two evenings a week," Julie Watson said.

For now, both are keeping their full-time jobs and family members and friends are staffing the shop. Each hopes to shift to the shop full time eventually.

Bobby Watson has worked for Allegheny Power as a meter reader for 14 years. Julie Watson is an advertising consultant for a broadcasting firm that places advertisements on five area radio stations. She has been in this line of work for 19 years.

"Our children are older, 18 and 21 years old," said Julie Watson, citing that as a factor in their decision to take the big step from regular jobs to running the shop full time.

Perhaps the biggest change will be the gradual introduction of antiques - something the Watsons have loved for many years - into the shop.

"And we hear an antique/collectible place may be opening in the near future in Funkstown and that would be good for us," Bobby Watson said.

In addition to local clientele, A Place for All Seasons attracts a lot of out-of-town customers, the Watsons said.

"People come here from the city and do the whole town," Bobby Watson said.

For more information on A Place for All Seasons, call 301-393-8787.

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