Me and My Girls Antiques, Home Décor, & Lots More reopens!

Photo by Danika J. Fornear: Rudy and Maggie, owners of Me and My Girls Antiques, Home Décor, & Lots More, standing by their store’s iconic yellow tandem bicycle mailbox.

During the shut down, many people were going stir crazy on social media, were discussing how much they missed going out and shopping. Some missed being able to go antique hunting, since the stay at home orders had gone into effect. While they knew that staying home was the right choice for the safety of everyone in our community, they discussed how watching shows like American Pickers or Antiques Roadshow, while sitting around the house, was creating an itch that needed to be scratched. Rudy and Maggie Barreneche, owners of Me and My Girls Antiques, Home Décor, & Lots More, quickly offered a solution for the monotony of isolation by offering virtual picking- antique shopping on social media from the comfort and safety the couch.

The Barreneche’s were terribly saddened when they had to announce the temporary closing of their store, due to the complications surrounding the current COVID-19 crisis. They had hoped to stay open for their customers, as a fun way to escape during this difficult time. They had even just re-stocked the store and had a lot of new inventory. However, they knew they had to do their part to keep everyone safe. 

So, they came up with the idea to offer “virtual pickers” the opportunity just pop online, from the safety of their homes, to peruse the many items at their store, on either Facebook or Instagram. Hopeful hunters were able to log on and search through the endless treasures, new photos being posted daily, finding just about any kind of antique they can imagine. From vintage kerosene lamps and depression glass, to ancient printer’s cabinets and one-of-a-kind farm tables, and even a mining cart from the 1800’s, there truly seems to be something for everyone at their shop. 

“Besides selling antiques, furniture, home décor and collectibles, we are authorized representatives and sales locations for Dixie Belle Chalk Paint, IOD Transfers and Re-Design by Prima. We offer layaways and most customers don’t know that we offer wedding, bridal shower, and baby shower registries,” said Maggie. “We love what we do and we truly hope that it shows. We hope that every customer leaves happy with their purchase. We try to offer every style, look and taste. We also pride ourselves in being able to offer prices for all budgets, no matter what your taste is.”

The impact of the coronavirus has proven to be extreme. It has been difficult for them, financially, since the shop is their livelihood, as well as the livelihood of their girls. “This will be a hard time for us financially as this business is our sole source of income and bills will continue to pile up, but we know with our strong faith and loving support from all of you, we will be back before you know it. Thank you for your constant and unwavering support, we are blessed to have such incredible customers by our side. We will see you soon, God Bless!” they recently posted on their Facebook account. 

“Rudy and I are high school sweethearts! We met in 1977 and married in 1982. We have 3 beautiful children, a loving son-in-law and a precious grand daughter,”Maggie explained. She was born in Spain, and has lived in Florida for 52 years. Rudy was born in Cuba, spending time in West Virginia, and moved to Florida 45 years ago. 

“Our oldest is Megan, she is stay-home mom of our beautiful one year old grand daughter, Rose. Megan is a 17 year cancer survivor and also runs a not-for-profit, Megan’s Angel Wings helping kids with cancer in our local area. She is a big part of Me and My Girls and can not be prouder of her,” Maggie went on, “Megan’s husband Eric is a banker and a wonderful husband and father! He is just like a son to us. Our son, Rudy Jr is in the Airforce, right now stationed in California. We are very proud of him and miss him terribly! Our youngest Sammie is a special-ed elementary teacher and also writes and paints on her spare time. She is an incredible teacher, loved by her students and their parents. Sammie is also a big part of Me and My Girls. Family is everything to us!”

“Back in 2012, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and after a full year of chemo therapy and radiation, I am Blessed to be a survivor for almost 7 years. After my diagnosis we decided that we were going to follow our passion and dedicate to our antiquing, so we opened a few antique booths in antique malls all over Florida. When our building here in LaBelle became available to purchase, we followed our dream, purchased the building and combined all our booths into one beautiful location” Maggie explained. The building, located at 330 N. Bridge Street, is what brought them to Hendry County. “We fell in love with the little town, passed through it quite a few times a year on our way to Orlando to visit family. When this building became available for sale, we truly felt it was ‘heaven sent’ for us,” Maggie said. “Our favorite thing of our community is the homey feeling of the community. We love the Down Town Historic District, and all the family owned businesses around us. We’ve made a lot of what we truly feel are good friends in this community. We also have family that live in Hendry County.”

What inspires them? “We are inspired by history. We love when a piece of furniture or home décor has a history and how the people that previously owned the piece loved it in their own home.”

When asked about their personal motto or business philosophy, Maggie replied, “Our personal and business philosophy are the same. We feel that if you live your lives honestly with good integrity you will truly be Blessed. We love with all our hearts and hope to inspire others with the way we live. We always think positive in every situation we are in, we have lots of Faith, which took us through the hardest times of our lives and we truly believe that with God all things are possible.”

On Monday, May 4, they were happy to announce their reopening, with regular hours. They are now open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and closed on Sundays. Stop by this week and welcome Rudy and Maggie back. The shop is located at 330 Bridge Street in LaBelle.

You can also visit Me and My Girls on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/meandmygirls/ or on Instagram @meandmygirlsantiques. They can be reached by phone by calling ‪(863) 230-6135, and via email: ‪Rudymaggie1977@yahoo.com

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