Bangor resident Glen Hudgens says he started collecting antiques and old things when he was 5 years old.
“The first thing I ever bought was a teacup,” said Hudgens, a 53-year-old California native who moved to Bangor with his wife, Renee, in 1988. “Now I have hundreds of them.”
In addition to his hundreds of teacups, he’s got many tens of thousands more items — from toys, books and vintage clothing to a wide array of mid-century modern furniture and decor, much of which is on display at his new antique and vintage shop, Antique Alley, which opened earlier this month on Columbia Street in downtown Bangor.
“I can’t say that I specialize in one thing,” said Hudgens, who owns a mortgage lending business, also with offices on Columbia Street. “I’m truly eclectic. I think everything is interesting.”
Antique Alley is located at 60 Columbia St., at the corner of Columbia and Cross streets, in the same storefront that formerly housed the Good Soul boutique. Hudgens has expanded that storefront into the two rooms behind, tripling the total floor space.
Hudgens’ eclectic tastes are on full display in the shop, which is packed from floor to ceiling with goodies that he has collected over the years. Though he does peruse auctions and estate sales, Hudgens has amassed most of his collection through “picking” — visiting individuals with homes, garages and barns packed with stuff, picking through all their items, and selecting and purchasing the ones with value.
Hudgens says Maine is full of treasure troves of unique and even, in some cases, trendy stuff. The sleek, minimalist lines of mid-century modern design are particularly popular these days, and Hudgens has found furniture, lamps and fixtures in homes all over the state. He also has a particular interest in rock and pop culture memorabilia, and has an extensive collection of t-shirts, records, posters and magazines, as well as other curiosities and ephemera.
That said, Hudgens says he does a healthy business in Maine and Bangor-centric items, from old books and postcards to promotional items from long-gone local businesses.
“I’m a huge history buff, and I love the history of Bangor,” he said. “I love this community, and I in particular love the downtown community. It’s such a close-knit group of really welcoming, friendly people.”
In addition to a lifelong love of collecting, Hudgens has a long history in both interior design and retail.
Glen and Renee Hudgens opened Chez Renee Home Furnishings in Bangor in 1997, and ran the upscale furniture store for 10 years before closing up shop, with Glen going into mortgage lending, and Renee going into real estate.
Though he’s keeping his day job, Hudgens said he’s long dreamt of opening an antique shop where he can share his love of design and history.
“I love all this stuff, and I love sharing it with people,” he said.
Antique Alley is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday, and by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is closed Sundays. For more information, follow the store on Instagram.