take a sentimental journey.
The Antique & Artisans Emporium has operated in the Historic Downtown District of Harlingen, Texas for over 20 years. It is comprised of talented vendors that sell a wide variety of vintage antiques, collectible items and custom-made pieces.
In The News
Texas Highways Magazine
Main Street: Shopping, Strolling
Boutiques, antiques stores, and galleries for a perfect souvenir
By Celestine Blok. Photographs by Paul M. Denman. January 2017
See full article here.
Woman’s Emporium Still in Business 26 Years Later
Posted: Aug 25, 2016 12:12 PM CDT. Updated: Aug 25, 2016 12:12 PM CDT
HARLINGEN – A Harlingen woman’s store was one of the first to open when the big push came to rejuvenate the city's downtown. She said she still loves what she does more than two decades later.
In the 1930s, Day’s Drug Store and Diner was busting at the seams in downtown. These days, June Ramirez and her husband, Tony Ramirez, occupy the exact same building.
“I’ve been here 26 years, October,” Ramirez said. The couple revamped the building and called it The Antique and Artisans Emporium.
Most downtowns suffered across the country when the malls started popping up.
“Downtown then was kind of boarded up, even my store was boarded up,” Ramirez said.
However, the times have changed. She recalled starting with only eight vendors and now she has more than 20. She even has one vendor that was there from the beginning.
Ramirez said each vendor has their own little section and they decorate it that best suits them. They also do their own pricing.
There is a plethora of items available from clothing to toys to vinyl records. Ramirez said she has a love for antique glassware.
A set of dishes she has are Victorian. “It’s probably 100 years old,” she said about the set.
Tony Ramirez favors the vinyl records and calls his section Frank’s Collections. He said he found a new trend among people.
“It’s unreal. Now we’re talking to people my age, their grandkids (are) buying their kind of music,” he said.
“I think that’s due to my husband’s record collection, our customer base is now 18 to 30,” June Ramirez said.
Customers sometimes come to the emporium looking for something particular. But Ramirez said some people come to relax and browse.
“Antiques are history and I love the fact that history is coming into the store,” she said.
They were among the first in the new downtown, and almost three decades later, the Ramirez’s still love what they do.
Old is New: Harlingen before and after transformations
By Fernando Del Valle, Valley Morning Star, May 5, 2014
... In the 1990s, antique stores helped draw customers to the city’s downtown.
In 1991, June and Tony Ramirez opened the Antique Emporium, the downtown area’s first antique store, in a building at 123 E. Jackson Ave., LaBerge (Cheryl LaBerge, Harlingen’s Downtown manager) said.
She said the building was built in the 1920s as the Palm Hotel before Day’s Drug Store opened on the first floor in 1933, featuring a lunch counter and soda fountain.
Until it closed in the mid 1980s, the drug store remained one of the area’s hot spots, LaBerge said.
“It was a real hub for lunch,” LaBerge said. “It was a gathering place for teenagers after school for a root beer float.”...
Valuable Business: June Ramirez
By Isaac Garcia, Valley Morning Star, 2011
June Ramirez said she was comfortable working in the restaurant business up until her husband inherited a lot of belongings that his grandmother gave to him after she died.
Ramirez said she found herself in the world of antiques and hasn’t looked back in more than 20 years.
Ramirez owns Antique Emporium in downtown Harlingen. She said that before she got into “antiquing,” she had a different perception of antiques and collectibles.
“Materialistic things never meant anything to me,” she said. “If it didn’t fit in my car, it wouldn’t go with me. But after a while, I realized that everything created has a story to tell.”
Ramirez said Antiques and collectibles have grown in popularity. She enjoys meeting people and getting to know what they like about certain items.
She said it’s interesting that antiques have been owned by different owners. She added that many items bring a sense of nostalgia to many people.
The East Texas native said antiquing is something the family as a whole grew a large interest in. It has become a family affair as her husband collects coins and her stepdaughter collects vinyl records.
Historic Downtown District
123 E. Jackson Ave.
Harlingen, TX 78550
Mon-Sat 10am - 5:30pm