By Deb Malewski
– Contributing Writer
Eaton Rapids has a new/ old business on Main Street. It is “old” because, for 30 years, it was The Basket Case — an antique shop owned by Ken and Sue Hayward. But it’s also new because it is now owned by their granddaughter, Nicole Byrd, and has been re-named “Backward Glance.” Byrd opened Backward Glance last fall. It is located at 217 S. Main St., right across the street from the Eaton Rapids Area District Library.
It appears the love of “picking” and selling antiques runs in the family. Byrd grew up going with her grandparents to garage sales, estate sales and old barns. She’s always enjoyed refinishing and cleaning up old furniture that they found.
“She was just raised that way,” said Cathy Bodell, her baby’s grandmother. “She loves her grandparents and grew up just like them.”
Byrd’s uncle, Wayne Hayward, owns “The Cool Store” on Knight Street.
Byrd grew up in Eaton Rapids and graduated from Eaton Rapids High School. She attended Lansing Community College, studying child development. She worked at preschools and later for a doctor’s office at McLaren Greater Lansing Hospital. After having her latest baby, she decided to start the new business.
“I bring in a truckload of new inventory each week,” Byrd said. “People come in and say that it looks completely different each time they are here.”
Her inventory includes jewelry, clothing, furniture, teacups, vinyl records, cast iron pans, clocks, modern decor and much more. Most items have a local provenance, or geographic origin, including a wooden desk used in the Dansville, Mich., post office.
“We try to have fun, interesting things,” Byrd said. “I hear comments that our prices are better than at the local antique malls.
“Vendors from the antique malls have been known to come in to buy things to re-sell at higher prices, even.”
Byrd enjoys hearing the reminiscing customers do about things they see in her shop, recalling that their mother or grandmother had the exact item, too.
“People should come in to be taken back,” said Kory Foote, who helps with the picking and is in the store a lot. “It’s a memory thing.
“I like it when seniors come in and enjoy browsing and remembering, especially since it doesn’t require them to drive very far. I learn more about my items, too, that way.”
As a single mother, with four children ranging in age from 6 months to 11 years, and having to search for new inventory on a regular basis, Byrd explained the store hours for Backward Glance are still being worked out. The shop is open most days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. The shop is also closed when there is an auction she must attend. She posts a phone number at the front door to contact her if the store is closed.
“The goal is to eventually have someone to help me and have set hours that should be expected when you have a business,” Byrd said.
Backward Glance can be reached by calling 517-803-0500 or by dropping in at the store at 217 S. Main Street in downtown Eaton Rapids.
Photo by Deb Malewski
Nicole Byrd owns and operates the Backward Glance antique shop in downtown Eaton Rapids. The shop used to be called The Basket Case and was owned by Byrd’s grandparents, Ken and Sue Hayward.