Hampden Street Antiques Proudly Celebrates Quarter Century Mark

By Jon DeStefano
   Hampden Street Antiques has been in business over 25 years now and they have over 120 fine antique dealers. Sue and Don Hesse founded Hampden Street Antiques in 1993 and when John Helke bought it three years later he, “didn’t know a lot about antiques” but he had many years of experience as a landlord and he became a landlord for the more than 100 antique dealers.
   John said, “I was fortunate because I had a strong retail business background. So I knew how to work with people and I stepped into a business that was in its third year, it was up and off the ground, I had a staff, a ready-made staff and I just relied on them to teach me everything.”
   Twenty-two years later he says, “We’re still here much stronger and better.” Hampden Street Antiques has everything from fine antique furniture and collectibles to unique artwork, exceptional jewelry, currencies, glassware, and 120 plus great antique dealers for which they have always held the highest standards.
   Today although John is still very involved, the shop is managed by his son-in-law, Dmitriy Odnoralov who is responsible for the day-to-day operations, renting of spaces, customer service and marketing. Dmitriy has four solid years under John’s tutelage and a strong background in sales and business management.
   Dmitriy notes that, “the spaces and booths are professionally staged and ideal for meeting the needs of people looking for that perfect piece or item for their home. It is arranged for an exceptional shopping experience for customers. You will find the people here are personal, warm and friendly. You will find an antique mall that is truly, an antique mall. Our dealers are indeed a cut above what you will find in most malls. Our dealer retention is exceptional although all the dealers are on a month-to-month basis most have a long history with the mall some since the beginnings twenty-five years ago and there is a waiting list.”
   Dmitriy continues, “John Helke is stepping back and I am taking over all the responsibilities John had. He has prepared me well for this and he has done such a tremendous job here and has built a great team. John has taught me to love the business. I really like the variety of items coming through the door and especially the history of these unique items. I have always been a fan of history and the history behind each piece, where they are made, the technique used to create it. I love the business side as well, the model John has developed running this business is solid and so professional. I’ve been very fortunate.”
   Dmitriy boasts about his family, his wife Jessica and his three kids. The oldest,” he says, “Evalina is 4, Eliana is 2 1/2 and Marius his son is 9 months, with 6 teeth coming in. He is so strong he pulls himself up and just keeps going.”
   Most challenging for Dmitriy are what he calls, “the technical difficulties, solving problems of customers or dealers, or being on the phone for 5 hours to get the credit card machine up, until the internet provider finally fixes it. The business is harder during holidays, summertime vacations can be a slow time, late spring, retail is a tricky thing. You just keeping working at it, making it better. It works out and, of course, I have the best help a person can have with John Helke in my corner.”
   Perhaps the strongest factor in our success Dmitriy says “is the solid foundation Hampden Street Antiques has been built on. Incredible, quality dealers and our excellent reputation means a lot. Their high quality goods, art, rare finds, furniture, and their always competitive prices all make a difference.”
   Hampden Street Antiques is not just one man, it is truly a team effort and the store has never looked better. Their strategy is to be more upscale and more diversified than their competition. “When you walk into the store you do not look at one booth after another, after another, that looks like a variation of the same. The dealers here are generally a little more professional than what you’ll find in a lot of places. They take what they are doing here very seriously and have a lot of pride in what they are doing.”
   “We’ve tried to keep the bar as high as we can in the overall quality of the store and then our prices too are very good. Our goal is to be the nicest antique mall in Denver and to also have the best prices.”
   The team works extremely hard for their dealers, helping them promote their dealer space, and helping them become successful in many different ways: pricing, identifying, merchandising and setting up their booths, anything that helps them be better dealers.
   All this has made for an exceptional experience for customers. So come visit Hampden Street Antiques. They are located at 8964 E. Hampden Ave. in Denver. They are opened Mon. – Thurs. 10-6, Friday and Saturday, 10-7 and Sunday 12-5. For more information, call 303-721-7992.

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