Someone You Should Know: Mother and daughter collecting and selling antiques and jewelry for over 70 years

Published: Jan. 27, 2023 at 10:28 AM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Sheri Watke-Shively and her mother Shirley Watke are collectors and sellers of antiques. Specializing in jewelry.

“I got started going with mother to junk shops when I was a kid looking for treasures. Years ago I started doing flea markets and had booths in malls to get started as a dealer,” said Sheri.

Years ago, they went to an estate sale that offered a large array of costume jewelry which began their love for antique jewelry.

“I buy jewelry, people will bring in grandma’s jewelry box they; have picked out the pieces they wanna keep and want to save the rest, and so that is what gives us a lot of our inventory,” said Sheri.

Sheri explains how items in chain stores pale in comparison to special one-of-a-kind finds.

“Anything unique. I like the unique perspective of antiques. You can go to Kohl’s and buy anything there, yes. But you can’t get that unique perspective like you can with a vintage item,” said Sheri.

History is what draws both mother and daughter to their love for antiques.

“I’ve always been interested in History, but I didn’t really become interested in jewelry history until I came up here with Sheri,” said Shirley.

They enjoy working together as a family.

“She’s a gem to work for. And I do work for her. Sometimes she tells me what to do and sometimes I do things on my own,” said Shirley.

“I really enjoy working with my mother, my mother has so much knowledge about antiques and jewelry, especially since I learn from her every day,” said Sheri.

Both Sheri and Shirley share the background story and time period of each piece of jewelry and object in their store.

“I suppose my favorite things are the cameos, my husband and I are Civil war reenactors. We have been all over the world the United States going to various battles. I always make sure I wear the appropriate cameo from the 1800s, we do have those,” said Sheri.

Buyers from far and wide come to shop their exclusive collections.

“We just have women from all over the Midwest, men too, they come in and buy for their wives,” said Sheri.

Shirley creates Christmas tree pictures out of leftover jewelry to make sure every piece is used.

“I don’t want to see any piece of jewelry go to waste. So often we get in jewelry that has one earing or just one piece, and so those are the pieces I take and make the Christmas trees,” said Shirley.

Both mother and daughter continue their passion for passing on unique finds to antique lovers throughout the Midwest.

“That’s a great feeling. Because I know the feeling I get when I have found something that matches a set that I have,” said Shirley.