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Carol Williams operates an Aunt Enid's Attic booth at the original GasLamp and at GasLamp Too.

Q: How long have you been in the antique business?

A: More than 20 years. A friend took me to White Way Antique Mall at lunch one day and I was hooked! I got a booth and started selling the linens I'd been collecting for years. The inspiration for my booth and the things I sell was — and still is — my great Aunt Enid, a glamorous radio personality in Miami and Atlanta in the ’40s. She traveled the world, wrote books, and interviewed movie stars and famous people on the air while pitching the newest fashion trends for Davison's and Burdine's department stores

Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ANTIQUE ERA AND WHY?

A: The 1940s. I love the fitted suits women wore, along with the gloves, hats, and furs. So glamorous! The war brought out the passion for freedom in people. The movies from that decade make it come alive for me. And of course after the war, Dior's "New Look" in fashion, with yards and yards of fabric in full skirts and wasp-like waistlines. Love it! Love it! Love it! And then I would have to say that with the popularity of TV's "Mad Men," I'm becoming a fan of the 1960s, so I'm beginning to focus on that decade with my accessories.

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE THINGS TO BUY AND SELL?

A: Vintage accessories ... hats, gloves, purses, bow ties, cufflinks ... all the things I wish more people wore today. The girls who buy from me know how to pair vintage with new to create a unique and personal look. You can always pick them out in a crowd — they are the ones everyone is looking at!

Q: WITHOUT GIVING AWAY ANY "FAMILY SECRETS,” WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO TREASURE HUNT?

A: It's always fun to find a treasure at a thrift store. I have a list of the best places in Chicago, Denver, and Atlanta -- my favorite places to shop. I have to tell you about my fabulous thrift store find in Chicago ... I picked up a book in a slipcase, just because I thought it was pretty and was only $.90. Got home and opened the book. It was “One Special Summer" by Jacqueline Bouvier and Lee Bouvier, a charming travel diary from their 1951 summer in Europe. This was a special edition of 500 and was signed by both authors! Worth $1,000+!

Q: WHAT ARE YOUR BOOTHS KNOWN FOR HAVING?

A: Hollywood glam accessories, monogrammed linens and silver (in my showcase), vintage baby items (in Emma's Closet, outside of my large booth in the original GasLamp), dog and cat things and unique global accessories for the home.

Q: DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL COLLECTIONS? WHAT ARE THEY?

A: I have a collection of ladies hats and purses from the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. I was thrilled to see a hat like one of mine in a 1940s movie. It's a wide-brimmed natural straw with an open crown and a striped band, worn at the beach with a fabulous swimsuit. I wish I could remember the name of the movie ...

Q: WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRIZED ANTIQUE POSSESSION AND WHERE IS IT FROM?

A: I guess my most prized possessions are the large clunky pieces of oak furniture from my grandmother's house. At family holidays, I remember having to eat on this huge oak table on the back porch with all my cousins ... much more fun than eating in the dining room with all the adults! It's just furniture, but for me, it's full of all the warm feelings from years and years of good food and family gatherings.

Q: WHAT ITEMS DO YOU NEVER PASS UP WHEN SHOPPING FOR YOUR BOOTH? WHAT DO YOU WALK ON BY?

A: I'd never pass up a magazine purse from the 1960s. They are very hard to come by. I have one and enjoy taking it to parties ... it never fails to start a conversation! I'd always pass on a damaged fur.

Q: CAN YOU GIVE OUR READERS AN ANTIQUE SHOPPING TIP?

A: Don't worry about matching furniture and accessory styles. Homes — and people — are much more interesting when things are a bit mixed up! If you like it, then it works. But if you need an opinion, the staff at GasLamp is always happy to oblige. Just ask us!

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