Over the past three years, Brandy VandeWall has seen plenty of artsy shops pop up in Rock Island.
It’s happened so much that VandeWall, who owns Skeleton Key Art and Antiques, has started to call the city “Antique Island.”
“More and more antique stores have opened to the point where we have 10 in one area,” she said. “Not a lot of people know that.”
To get the word out — and offer a weekend happening — VandeWall has organized a “shop hop,” called Antique Island, set for Saturday.
“We’re small businesses, and we don’t have the money behind us to do a lot of big things,” she said. “But if we band together, we can.”
Seven stores will participate in the first-ever shop hop. Vintage Rose Antiques and Jewelry is no longer participating after it was damaged by an explosion inside the property on Monday.
“We’ve definitely grown over the past year,” VandeWall said. “There’s not a lot of towns nearby with this much to choose from.”
Her store, a hybrid of an antique mall and an art gallery, offers metalworks, paintings, jewelry, crafts and antique furniture. Most items are crafted by area artists, including her husband.
“There is so much artistic talent in this area,” VandeWall said. “A lot of artists are looking for places to show off their work, so we love being able to provide that.”
The latest store to join Antique Island is More Than Antiques, which Karolyn Williams officially opened in the College Hill District on Friday.
Williams, who sews clothing and offers a mixture of vintage and new items, said More Than Antiques is her eighth antique store. She ran stores in California and two shops — Memories and More and Estate of Grace — in Rock Island.
“I always have to have a store,” she said. “It’s what I do.”
Her daughter Jennifer Horvath owns Fred and Ethel’s, a shop directly across 30th street, that’s also part of the artsy outing on Saturday.
“It’s a way to support your local small business,” she said. “You never know what you’re going to find.”
Participating stores include:
• Skeleton Key Art and Antiques, 520 18th St., Rock Island, is open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday. It's closed Monday and Tuesday. Visit facebook.com/SkeletonKeyArtAndAntiques.
• Jackson's Antiques, 1310 30th St., Rock Island, is open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and noon-4 p.m. Saturday. It's closed Sunday-Tuesday. For more information, visit facebook.com/jacksonsantiques or call 309-314-4952.
• Fred & Ethel's, 1326 30th St., Rock Island, is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and closed Sunday-Monday. For more information, visit facebook.com/Fred-Ethels-238501676471 or call 309-786-3511.
• Dar-Jac Antiques & Jewelry, 3115 14th Ave., Rock Island, is open noon-5:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday and 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday. It's closed Sunday-Tuesday. For more information, visit facebook.com/darjacantiques or call 309-788-0251.
• Vintage Varieties, 1808 3rd Ave., Rock Island, is open noon-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and closed Sunday-Tuesday. For more information, visit facebook.com/Vintage-Varieties-1509160706003138 or call 309-781-5679.
• More Than Antiques, 1319 30th St., Rock Island, is open from noon-6 p.m. Wednesday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m.-4 pm. Saturday. It's closed Sunday-Tuesday.