Jamie grew up in Windsor. His parents, William and Barbara, settled here in 1949 when homes in the suburbs became affordable for soldiers with the GI Bill. The couple had seven kids so the siblings grew up as a very close family.
Jamie’s father saw that he was a creative kid and encouraged him to learn about history and get into collecting. So when Jamie found an interesting pocket knife, he started collecting them and found many different types with intriguing shapes and features. But Jamie really got interested in antiques when he received a Mickey Mouse radio from Mrs. Clark on Hillcrest Rd. He was about 10 years old at the time and he loved that radio. He started researching it and found that it was actually worth quite a bit of money. Surprised, he mentioned it to his father who encouraged him to accompany him to some local auctions. Jamie was immediately hooked.
Jamie attended school in Windsor, then went on to college. After that, he followed the Grateful Dead around New England for a while and had a blast. “I love music and hearing it live at so many great venues was an amazing experience,” says Jamie. He settled down around 1988 to go into the family business, Bill Selig Ford.
Bill Selig Ford was once in Windsor center. The building now known as Central Street Antiques (currently the home of Get Baked) used to be the Selig Ford car repair center. And the land where Track 139 is now is where they stored used cars and offered detailing services. In the mid 90’s, they moved their operation to Bloomfield Avenue. At that time, Jamie convinced his brothers to refurbish the old building and turn it into an antiques center. They rented out space to 70 antique dealers and Jamie used open spots to sell the silver, antiques, collectibles and other items he bought at auctions and estate sales.
He stayed in the car business for six years, doing antiques on the side, but when his father passed away in 1994, he decided it was time to make antiques his career. He took over the antiques center and started holding auctions. He did well and had a great following. In time, the antiques market started to shift. Slowly the larger decorative items like colonial dining room sets and Victorian style furniture that had been cherished by the baby boom generation were going out of favor.
“We had to pivot from a traditional antiques business into a retail shop that carries items favored by the younger crowd,” Jamie remembers. He opened James Selig Estate Jewelry and Antiques in early 2017. They specialize in estate jewelry, silver, coins, artwork, bronzes, and other items. “The collectibles market is alive and well,” says Sharran, “but the sought-after items have changed.” People are more interested in things from the 50’s and 60’s - mid-century modern - things they may have seen on a show like "Mad Men."
In addition to selling a fascinating array of merchandise in the store, they also buy gold and silver scrap and have it melted down for reuse. Jamie says, “Most people have seen ads on TV for “Good Ole’ Tom” or others, but they prefer to do business with someone they know, from their own community."
Another unique service Jamie provides is house cleanouts. “I will look at any type of home, with any amount or value of items and figure out what needs to be done. Sometimes they just need actual junk hauled away. We do that. More often, an elderly relative has passed away and they need someone to deal with a house full of stuff. We do that too.” "Dealing with the death of a parent is emotionally painful and physically draining,” says Sharran. “Jamie takes care of people with compassion and real care.” He says, “Every item I move out of a house was important to someone. I keep that in mind when working with grieving families.”
The best thing about being in the antiques business for Jamie is getting to find “buried" treasure. "It's actually kind of fun to dig around an old attic and find something really unusual.” He also enjoys finding new homes for those treasures. "There’s so much stuff being thrown in landfills. When a chain company is called in, they throw so much away without a second thought. It’s a shame,” says Jamie.
James Selig Estate Jewelry and Antiques is a member of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce. Jamie feels that “Windsor is a nice community and has so much history. I really love history and thinking about where things have come from, who owned them in the past, and what life was like back then.”
When he’s not at work, Jamie likes to play guitar, go to concerts, and play basketball.
Three words to describe Jamie are 'passionate, knowledgeable, respectful’.
Out and About article by the Windsor Chamber of Commerce October 12, 2018