Kiley Anderson; Antique Treasure Hunter

Chance Evans, Reporter

Walking into an antique shop might be overwhelming to the average customer; the walls are covered in old posters and hanging clocks, every closet and jewelry box is filled to the brim with hidden treasures, and it feels like trying to find your way in a maze where the walls are a teetering house of cards that could topple over with the slightest touch.

Kiley Anderson, a junior at West, feels at home in her family’s antique store and even scours garage sales weekly to fill it. Her grandparents are the ones who put the merchandise up for sale; however, Kiley gets the money that she earns through the jewelry and other antiques that she purchases at the garage sales.

Since her interest in antique jewelry started long ago, she has been collecting jewelry and building up her stash for years now. “I have a couple jewelry boxes full of Victorian jewelry specifically. I have about nine lockets; I have so many I can’t even remember right now,” she says. “It’s all handmade and unique. Its often really good quality and they had a different way of making things back then, and they don’t make [jewelry] like that anymore.”

Kiley grew up here in Anchorage. She went to Turnagain Elementary School and has been learning Russian since kindergarten. After primary school, she went to Romig; she took Russian Immersion there as well. Currently, she goes to West High and is still taking Russian Immersion.

She lives with her grandparents because of family problems. She has no full siblings, however, she has four half-sisters and three half-brothers. The reason Kiley is even into old jewelry is because her grandparents influenced her as a child. She has a very close relationship with them. In the theme of keeping old things is her dog, Brody, who has been a part of her family for many years.

When she’s not in school or doing inventory on her antiques, she doesn’t think she does much, however, she does a lot more than some students in the school. “I sleep a lot; I also read sometimes. I paint when I feel like it and I also like to make small sculptures of animals,” Kiley explains.

Tim Morgan, one of Kiley’s best friends, shares his opinions on her: “She’s a really generous and nice person; she does whatever can to help people. I would describe her as a mature person. She has a childish sense of humor, but she’s still more mature than I’ll ever be.”

Kiley’s grandmother, Holly Anderson, also shares her description of her: “She’s cautious and frugal with money. She also has weird, in depth knowledge of obscure things, like hair jewelry.” For instance, n the Victorian era, much of the jewelry was made with hair inside!

Anderson has been working with antiques for about 40 years, which definitely trumps Kiley’s experience. She sells the antiques for profit online and in the two antique malls in town: The Pack Rat Mall and Lazy Dog. “The antique business is busy; it involves buying, cleaning, researching, pricing, and keeping an inventory,” she explains.

“Kiley helps to get good deals and guard the pile at garage sales; she also helps cleaning merchandise. Dealing with antiques teaches her real life skills and history as well as how to buy things effectively,” her grandmother says.