Antiques store owner offers plenty
of ‘Hidden Treasures'
By Amanda Mears
May 8, 2008 | When Logan resident Shawn Fullmer began
collecting G.I. Joes, his favorite childhood toy, he
never dreamed it would lead to a whole new career path.
Fullmer, who did not have any previous experience in
antique dealing when he opened Hidden Treasures, said
he took over the store when its former owner decided
she wanted out of the antique business.
Two years later, the store, which is at 692 N. 600
West, holds everything from collector pottery to vintage
vending machines and has allowed Fullmer to quit his
previous job and focus on something he enjoys.
Fullmer said he lives and breathes antiques and is
happy to be able to turn something he loves into a profession.
Fullmer said although he spends most of his time in
the store, even his free time revolves around antiques.
In order to price the items in his store, Fullmer
said he reads as many books about appraising and antiques
as he can get his hands. Pointing to a stack of worn
paperback books that rests on the counter, he explains
that knowledge is what a customer is paying for.
Fullmer said he also has another hobby that helps
him when it comes to deciding how much an item is worth.
"I watch Antiques Roadshow [on PBS]
every day," Fullmer said. "I never miss it.
I also spend a lot of time looking for collectibles
and things people would be interested in buying."
Most mornings, Fullmer said he wakes up early to stop
by garage sales and take a look around the D.I.
"You don't find a lot there because the regulars will
wait and fight over anything of real value, but I've
had a few good finds," Fullmer said.
One of those finds, Fullmer said, was an original
photo of the Salt Lake City temple taken in 1893, matted
and signed by H.H. Thomas and O'Dell. The photo, which
Fullmer bought for $25, turned out to be worth over
It's finds like this that Fullmer said make his job
exciting and unique. In addition to scouring local thrift
shops, Fullmer said he often gets calls from people
who want to bring in old items they have lying around.
"I get excited when people bring things down," Fullmer
said. "Like you would on your wedding day."
Much like the rest of his antique career, Fullmer
said he stumbled upon the name Hidden Treasures almost
"I saw the name on a book at borders and pulled
it out," Fullmer said. "Then I saw it was
written by the appraisers on Antiques Roadshow."
Fullmer said he knew instantly that he name was a
perfect fit for his small store, placed inconveniently
on an industrial road.
"It's way out here," Fullmer said, "but we get a lot
of people who keep comin' back."
One of the reasons Fullmer said his shop had been
able to flourish is the fact that he is able to connect
with his customers on a personal level, unlike some
antique stores around town.
"You get places like Country Village and they have
a bunch of vendors just selling stuff," Fullmer said.
"You try and ask them a question and chances are they
won't know a thing about the item."
Another attribute that Fullmer said comes in handy
when attracting potential buyers is his well-known selling
"I am famous for wheelin' and dealin'," Fullmer said,
chuckling in his deep voice. "People know I'll get ‘em
a good deal."
Fullmer said only one other person, his father, has
the key to his store and that is just in case Fullmer
needs to take a sick day. Being the only employee of
his store had allowed Fullmer the freedom to set prices
and interact with his customers on a one-on-one basis.
"I'm doing it all by myself," Fullmer said. "I put
in a lot of time."
As one shopper pushes open the dusty glass door and
steps inside Fullmer greets her with a curt nod and
a brisk hello. It's not his style to be overbearing
Stopping to marvel at a vintage juke box, Logan resident
Mary Jo Hanson makes her way to where Fullmer is perched
behind a large wooden desk complete with an 18th century
"I'm looking for a certain cookbook for my mother-she
collects them," Hanson explains.
For the next 24 minutes, Fullmer explains exactly
where she can get what she's looking for. Although he
currently does not have any at Hidden Treasures, Fullmer
writes down her name and number and promises to give
her a call as soon as he spots one.
His understated enthusiasm for his career makes Hidden
Treasures one of the most successful antique stores
in Cache Valley. Although Fullmer said there can be
dry spells in the antique business, it's evident by
the flow of customers that antiquing is still a popular
pastime in Logan.
"Ebay put a damper on antique sales," Fullmer said,
"but there are still people getting into it."
Currently, Fullmer said one of the most exciting things
he has in the store is a combination doctor/dentist
chair that was once owned by Dr. Hale. Fullmer said
he had his eye on the chair for quite awhile, but until
recently it was only sold as part of Dr. Hale's house.
"I'm hoping it will be bought by a doctor or a dentist
in town who can use it as a display or something," Fullmer
said. "You don't see these every day."
The excitement of a rare find is why Fullmer said
he enjoys waking up everyday and coming to work.
"That's what's nice about this business," Fullmer
said. "It's like treasure hunting."