When Robert Worsham opened Worshamâ€™s Furniture this past June in Denver, one thing his store wasnâ€™t going to feature is Hollywood memorabilia.
His wife, Belinda, however, suggested that he have it as part of the store.
â€œShe thought it would be a good attraction to the store,â€ said Worsham.
He previously owned an antique mall in Kannapolis where his memorabilia was also displayed.
â€œIt was called Antique Mall in Cannon Village,â€ said Worsham.
The commute from the Denver area to Kannapolis, however, began getting to Worsham.
â€œI wanted something closer,â€ he said, â€œand now Iâ€™m 10 minutes away.â€
He was also contemplating a change in product offerings.
â€œI did some investigating and found that the new furniture market is doing better than antiques,â€ said Worsham.
When Worsham first opened in the Harbor Winds Shopping Center on N.C. 16, next to Heavenly Hams, he carried a lot of upholstered furniture.
â€œI had a lot of couches and recliners and the stuff wasnâ€™t selling,â€ he said.
A change was in order: Enter pub and bistro tables.
â€œThey are small tables that people use in their dens and recreation rooms,â€ said Worsham. â€œFour people can sit around them and use them to have their snacks and dinners.â€
The biggest appeal to customers, Worsham said, is the uniqueness in style and function of the bistro tables.
â€œNowadays,â€ he said, â€œthey can also be used as a dinette table, to save space.â€
While the bistro and pub tables are popular â€“ prices range from $325 to $595 â€“ itâ€™s the memorabilia in the corner of Worshamâ€™s Furniture that draws a lot of attention.
Those were the days
Worsham started collecting Hollywood memorabilia 14 years ago.
â€œIâ€™ve always liked movie and TV memorabilia,â€ said Worsham, â€œso I started out collecting photographs, especially of my favorite actor, Jimmy Stewart.â€
He then started collecting small props, followed by memorabilia from two world-famous actors.
â€œIn my collection now, I have a lot of things from Lucille Ball and George Burns,â€ said Worsham.
His collection also includes an outfit from the 1970s movie, â€œThe Wiz;â€ Sonny Bonoâ€™s famous fuzzy vest he wore on the â€œSonny and Cherâ€ television show; and a chair — but not just any ordinary chair.
â€œItâ€™s the chair from the pilot episode of the TV show All in the Family,â€ said Worsham.
He got the chair from a celebrity friend whom Worsham didnâ€™t want to name.
â€œCarroll Oâ€™Conner was getting out of this chair, when he accidentally broke the left arm,â€ said Worsham. â€œThey replaced the chair on the set with another one, and thatâ€™s the chair that sits in the Smithsonian today.â€
The original chair, which came from Goodwill, is signed by Oâ€™Conner and co-star Jean Stapleton on the bottom.
Interestingly enough, the chair sits as the centerpiece of the collection that is inside his store.
While having the memorabilia and the furniture in his antique mall six years ago, Worsham stumbled onto the Ebay website, which he uses as an avenue to sell his Hollywood treasures under the name, The Prop Company.
He said he sells 60 percent of all of his memorabilia to people in California.
â€œItâ€™s ironic because they can get memorabilia easier out there,â€ said Worsham.
Since being on Ebay, Worsham said heâ€™s only had one problem with shipping.
â€œThe Post Office lost a $1,500 Lucille Ball dress,â€ he said. â€œIt was supposed to be in California within three days, but it took 20.â€
When the purchaser finally received her package, she called Worsham to let him know. The box was crushed, but everything was okay, which was of great relief to Worsham.
He also provides another Internet service. People can bring things for him to sell for them on Ebay for a small fee, as well as learn how to navigate the site as well, both for small fees.
Meantime, The Prop Company and Worshamâ€™s Furniture do not and will not coexist on the web.
â€œIâ€™m not planning on putting my pub tables on Ebay anytime soon,â€ said Worsham.
He added that once clearance items leave the back of Worshams, heâ€™s going to put in more bistro tables.
â€œIâ€™m concentrating on both the Denver business and Ebay,â€ said Worsham.
Want to go?
Worshamâ€™s Furniture is located in the Harbor Winds Shopping Center on N.C. 16. From Lincolnton, take N.C. 150 to N.C. 16. Turn right, traveling towards N.C. 73. Worshamâ€™s Furniture is on the right, three doors down from Heavenly Hams. Hours are 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tuesday – Friday; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Saturday; closed Sunday and Monday. Call (704) 489-6907.
by Jon Mayhew