Martha Clarke loves antiques, and she loves people. What better way to combine those two loves but to open an antique store? Clarke opened La De Da’s in 2003 and has been on the square ever since.
When she first opened in 2003, Clarke had a gift shop along with her antique store. About 15 years ago, she closed the gift shop, and she now focuses only on antiques. Clarke said she is very blessed to still be in business.
Clarke said that La De Da’s has a little bit of everything, and she was not lying. The store has everything. It has antique furniture, jewelry, paintings, glassware, sports figurines, old records, DVDs and VHS tapes, old newspapers and everything in between. Clarke said she has about 10,000 total items in the store. She has little pieces everywhere.
She said people are shocked when they walk in for the first time. On the outside, La De Da’s looks like a quaint little antique shop with a few pieces inside. But on the inside, the store is covered from floor to ceiling with antiques. Clarke said the most unique thing in her store is a cabinet from Italy built in the 1800s. She said it is very unique and very valuable.
Clarke said the majority of the items in the store are hers. She said most of her consigners have picked up their things. She has a stock room full of other items as well. She used to have a lot more stuff in the store when she had the gift shop. She has gotten most of the pieces in the store from people walking in and wanting to sell old items. She has made many connections over the years, and people bring her stuff to sell. One lady left it in her will that Clarke sell all her belongings.
Clarke said that La De Da’s has not been just a place to shop, but also a place for people to come fellowship. She used to have a big table in the front of the store, and people would just come in to talk. She has made friends with several people running store, and she said it has been fun. Her customers say they come into La De Da’s because of Clarke. They love to visit with each other.
Clarke said she has been able to stay in business because she trusts in God. There will some months when business is slow, and she will not know she is going to pay her bills. But on the last day of the month, the store will be full of people, and she will make enough to stay open.
“I’ve always trusted God, and He always comes through,” said Clarke.
La De Da’s is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about La De Da’s, call 256.259.2670 or check out the store’s Facebook page.